11 Ways to Stop Being Late

Are you chronically late? It may not be entirely your fault. A San Francisco State University study found that chronically late people shared several characteristics, implying this habit is deeply rooted in your personality. Unfortunately, no matter the reason, chronic lateness negatively affects both your personal and professional life. So while overcoming lateness is tough, it can be done. Here are a few tips to help you do so.

1. Prioritize being on time.

Some people are late because they don’t value being on time as much as they value something else. To combat this issue, create a list of ways that being late negatively affects your life. For example, being constantly late is stressful and bad for your self-esteem. It gives you a reputation as being unreliable and untrustworthy both in your personal and professional lives. It’s also selfish, since it signals to others that your time is more important than theirs. If you wouldn’t be late for a plane or a job interview, you shouldn’t be late for anything else. Find a reason that motivates you to be on time.

2. Figure out why you’re late.

Why are you always late? If you’re late by a different amount of time every time, it’s likely a technical issue – maybe you’re bad at estimating time. But if you’re 10 minutes late to absolutely everything, there may be an underlying psychological issue at play. According to Diana DeLonzor, there are 7 types of late people: like the Deadliner who enjoys the rush that moving last-minute craves, or the Absent-Minded Professor who is constantly distracted. See if you fit one of these types, then check out this article for some specific tips.

3. Test how much time everything takes.

Many people are late because they underestimate how long their preparation will take. Prevent this by writing down all the things you do for a week. Write down how much time you think each task will take, then write down how much time it actually took. You’ll gain a more realistic understanding of how much time you actually need to arrive on time.

4. Become a time pessimist.

How long does it take you to get to work? If it takes you 30 minutes in perfect weather and no traffic, don’t leave exactly 30 minutes early! Things come up. Always overestimate how much time it’ll take you to arrive somewhere, taking into account traffic conditions and potential accidents like it’s raining and you forgot your umbrella. Then, always aim to be 15 minutes early. You need to give yourself buffers to ensure you arrive on time.

5. Prep properly.

One common reason people are constantly late is because they don’t prep in advance. Maybe you can’t find your keys or don’t remember where you placed that important paper for work. Figure out everything you need to have in advance so you can leave on time, from setting out your outfit to having the coffee all ready to go. This is doubly important on days with big events – you don’t want to be late for a major meeting because you forgot to confirm the directions. Check everything 24 hours in advance on days like this.

6. Make downtime productive.

Think arriving early is a waste of time? You’re not alone – and you’re also not wrong. A 2002 article stated that a CEO who was 15 minutes late to a meeting with his 4 top employees cost the company $4250 – in the price of the employees’ time. But the company loses just as much if those 4 employees are 15 minutes early and doing nothing. Furthermore, many people feel very anxious about waiting around with nothing to do – it’s why we pretend to play on our phones. Avoid this by picking a productive, absorbing activity to do specifically during your downtime of the day. It could be checking your email, catching up on the latest headlines or merely texting your best friend.

7. Stop ‘one more thing’ syndrome.

You could make it on time if you left right now – but you also have just one more thing that could be done. Many people avoid the aforementioned downtime by doing just one more thing before they leave. It’s procrastination under the guise of productivity. To avoid this, set a time that you have to walk out the door and stick to it. This will prevent you from believing you have time for just one last task.

8. Your cell phone is not an excuse.

People have become far less punctual with the advent of cell phones. But texting that you’re late doesn’t forgive the lateness itself, nor is it an excuse to take longer to arrive. If you said you would be somewhere at a certain point, you owe it to both yourself and the other person to show up on time. A cell phone is great to notify others in emergencies, but if texting “running late” is a daily occurrence? You’ve got a problem.

9. Pay attention to clocks.

Did you know that each of us estimates time differently? Some people are incredibly accurate at guessing how long a minute is, while others fail miserably. So stop relying on your own sense of time and rely on actual timekeeping devices. Buy a wristwatch. Set regular alarms and reminders on your phone and computer, and pay attention to the clock! Many people also recommend setting all of your devices a few minutes early. If you choose to do so, change the time every few weeks so you can’t easily calculate what time it actually is – think 12 minutes one time, 8 minutes the next.

10. Get to sleep

When you don’t get to bed on time, you’re far more likely too oversleep and be late for your appointments. Even if you wake up on time, you’re tired and groggy all day – which makes you slower at all your tasks and also more likely to be late. So make sure to sleep enough each night, especially before important events. Save the partying for the weekend.

11. Analyze when you’re late.

Did you follow all these tips and find you’re still late? A further analysis is in order. Next time you’re late, ask yourself why – and what you can do in the future to help avoid this in the future. Some situations might be out of your control, but most aren’t. Remember that overcoming chronic lateness is a process – but it can be done.

Think we missed anything? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Tweet us @SuperheroYou!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: DavidDennisPhotos.com via Compfight cc

Are you chronically late? It may not be entirely your fault. A San Francisco State University study found that chronically late people shared several characteristics, implying this habit is deeply rooted in your personality. Unfortunately, no matter the reason, chronic lateness negatively affects both your personal and professional life. So while overcoming lateness is tough, it can be done. Here are a few tips to help you do so.

1. Prioritize being on time.

Some people are late because they don’t value being on time as much as they value something else. To combat this issue, create a list of ways that being late negatively affects your life. For example, being constantly late is stressful and bad for your self-esteem. It gives you a reputation as being unreliable and untrustworthy both in your personal and professional lives. It’s also selfish, since it signals to others that your time is more important than theirs. If you wouldn’t be late for a plane or a job interview, you shouldn’t be late for anything else. Find a reason that motivates you to be on time.

2. Figure out why you’re late.

Why are you always late? If you’re late by a different amount of time every time, it’s likely a technical issue – maybe you’re bad at estimating time. But if you’re 10 minutes late to absolutely everything, there may be an underlying psychological issue at play. According to Diana DeLonzor, there are 7 types of late people: like the Deadliner who enjoys the rush that moving last-minute craves, or the Absent-Minded Professor who is constantly distracted. See if you fit one of these types, then check out this article for some specific tips.

3. Test how much time everything takes.

Many people are late because they underestimate how long their preparation will take. Prevent this by writing down all the things you do for a week. Write down how much time you think each task will take, then write down how much time it actually took. You’ll gain a more realistic understanding of how much time you actually need to arrive on time.

4. Become a time pessimist.

How long does it take you to get to work? If it takes you 30 minutes in perfect weather and no traffic, don’t leave exactly 30 minutes early! Things come up. Always overestimate how much time it’ll take you to arrive somewhere, taking into account traffic conditions and potential accidents like it’s raining and you forgot your umbrella. Then, always aim to be 15 minutes early. You need to give yourself buffers to ensure you arrive on time.

5. Prep properly.

One common reason people are constantly late is because they don’t prep in advance. Maybe you can’t find your keys or don’t remember where you placed that important paper for work. Figure out everything you need to have in advance so you can leave on time, from setting out your outfit to having the coffee all ready to go. This is doubly important on days with big events – you don’t want to be late for a major meeting because you forgot to confirm the directions. Check everything 24 hours in advance on days like this.

6. Make downtime productive.

Think arriving early is a waste of time? You’re not alone – and you’re also not wrong. A 2002 article stated that a CEO who was 15 minutes late to a meeting with his 4 top employees cost the company $4250 – in the price of the employees’ time. But the company loses just as much if those 4 employees are 15 minutes early and doing nothing. Furthermore, many people feel very anxious about waiting around with nothing to do – it’s why we pretend to play on our phones. Avoid this by picking a productive, absorbing activity to do specifically during your downtime of the day. It could be checking your email, catching up on the latest headlines or merely texting your best friend.

7. Stop ‘one more thing’ syndrome.

You could make it on time if you left right now – but you also have just one more thing that could be done. Many people avoid the aforementioned downtime by doing just one more thing before they leave. It’s procrastination under the guise of productivity. To avoid this, set a time that you have to walk out the door and stick to it. This will prevent you from believing you have time for just one last task.

8. Your cell phone is not an excuse.

People have become far less punctual with the advent of cell phones. But texting that you’re late doesn’t forgive the lateness itself, nor is it an excuse to take longer to arrive. If you said you would be somewhere at a certain point, you owe it to both yourself and the other person to show up on time. A cell phone is great to notify others in emergencies, but if texting “running late” is a daily occurrence? You’ve got a problem.

9. Pay attention to clocks.

Did you know that each of us estimates time differently? Some people are incredibly accurate at guessing how long a minute is, while others fail miserably. So stop relying on your own sense of time and rely on actual timekeeping devices. Buy a wristwatch. Set regular alarms and reminders on your phone and computer, and pay attention to the clock! Many people also recommend setting all of your devices a few minutes early. If you choose to do so, change the time every few weeks so you can’t easily calculate what time it actually is – think 12 minutes one time, 8 minutes the next.

10. Get to sleep

When you don’t get to bed on time, you’re far more likely too oversleep and be late for your appointments. Even if you wake up on time, you’re tired and groggy all day – which makes you slower at all your tasks and also more likely to be late. So make sure to sleep enough each night, especially before important events. Save the partying for the weekend.

11. Analyze when you’re late.

Did you follow all these tips and find you’re still late? A further analysis is in order. Next time you’re late, ask yourself why – and what you can do in the future to help avoid this in the future. Some situations might be out of your control, but most aren’t. Remember that overcoming chronic lateness is a process – but it can be done.

Think we missed anything? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Tweet us @SuperheroYou!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: DavidDennisPhotos.com via Compfight cc

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