Arriving late for things is a common problem. In fact, it’s probably so common that either you yourself are regularly late to things, or you have someone close to you who is. And either way, it can be a frustrating behavior to deal with!
So in today’s blog post, I’ll be sharing 7 practical tips for people who can’t seem to stop running late. I made an effort to feature useful strategies and simple solutions here, because the obvious suggestions like “just stop being late” aren’t really helping anyone.
So whether you use these tips to change your own ways, or you send them along to a loved one, I hope they prove helpful in making us all more punctual people! :-)
7 Practical Tips For People Who Are Always Late
1. Consider The Consequences
Breaking bad habits can be hard work, and perpetual tardiness is no exception! Staying motivated is key when making long-term changes, and one way to do that is to remind yourself of why you want to stop being late.
So grab a piece of paper and something to write with, and jot down all the consequences you’ve faced in the past because of being late. Have you missed an important meeting, been reprimanded by your boss, gotten a speeding ticket, or even just arrived somewhere feeling stressed or frazzled?
Write it all down, then post the list somewhere you’ll see it often. Then as you do the hard work of changing those habits, your list can serve as a reminder of why it’s work worth doing!
2. Under-Schedule Yourself
If you’re always arriving late, you might be overestimating how much you actually have time to accomplish! Try dialing back how much you take on for a while to determine if you’ve been over-scheduling yourself, and use my calendar printable to keep yourself organized.
Not sure how to dial back? Delegate or ask for help with things that are taking up a lot of your time, and when someone asks if you have time for something, give yourself permission to say “no!”
3. Adopt Meal Prepping
Getting into meal prepping can save you a lot of valuable time throughout the week. Try choosing two days a week to do food prep, like Sunday to start your week off right and Thursday to round it out.
Try to keep your meals simple so they don’t take much time or effort to assemble. Breakfast sandwiches and burritos make quick and easy breakfast options, and salads or grain bowls make great lunches. For dinner, try out some freezer meals like these ones.
4. Pick Out Outfits Beforehand
If mornings are particularly hard for you, there are plenty of ways to simplify your morning routine, like picking out your outfit the night before! If you already have your outfit for the day set aside, all you have to do is get dressed (instead of spending 15 minutes sleepily staring into your closet!)
Need some outfit inspiration? Check out this super simple hack for deciding what to wear!
5. Check Your Sleep Habits
If you’re always running late, it may be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep in general. Use my printable sleep tracker, or a fitness band or phone app with sleep tracking technology, to get a clearer picture of how much sleep you’re getting.
Based on the data you collect, you can adjustments to your sleep schedule to make sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep.
6. Rethink Semantics
Are you often late because you didn’t give yourself enough time to park your car, find the building, buy a ticket, etc.? If so, changing the way the think about your plans could be a helpful tactic!
For instance, if you normally tell yourself “my dinner date is at 7:30,” you might change it by saying, “I need to be inside the restaurant at 7:30.” Or instead of “the meeting is at 2:00,” you could tell yourself “the meeting begins at 2:00.”
Use semantics to remind yourself that you’ll probably need a few extra minutes to get somewhere than you would normally plan for!
7. Reorganize Your Entryway
If you often find yourself waylaid by searching for your keys, wallet, phone, or glasses, getting more organized could help you get out the door on time in the future. Make sure you have a place to hang your keys, a dish for your wallet and glasses, and other areas to corral the things you’ll need to grab when you head out.
What’s the best tip you could give to someone who is always late?