I’m always 15 minutes late. Yes, I am finally coming clean about it. This post is for you if you are this person or have a friend who is. “I’d love to be there on time, but it just doesn’t happen,” you might say. Well, that’s not actually true because being late is just something you can choose to do or not. If I had my way, I would have plenty of time in the day and arrive right on time for all of my appointments. The problem is, I let a lot of things take up my time and consequently waste a lot of it.
It’s a common dilemma, knowing that there are only so many hours in the day. And with most of them already accounted for by work, sleep, and other commitments, it seems like there is no extra time left over. But this isn’t true. When people get out of bed 10 minutes earlier each morning, for instance, they have gained an extra hour every week – without adding any new activities to their schedule. That means they can spend less time getting ready in the morning or rushing around at the end of the day when they get home from work.
I’m sure my fellow late lassies can agree, it isn’t a pleasant experience to be late. In fact, we wish we were one of those people who were always early to things. We believe we’ve planned your day out exceptionally. We are confident that we will be able to make it to all of our appointments on time – hey! Perhaps even early? But then it hits us. Something goes wrong and we are in the car at that red light (because we always get every red when we are late, thanks universe) and the clock is going up and your heart starts to beat faster. we hate feeling this way. It’s a fundamental character flaw that we are not proud of, but here’s the thing – it’s okay and we’re just fine.
Being on time more isn’t just a goal for the people we know it’s a goal for ourselves. In those moments when I am on time I feel confident, I feel proud and my day seems to follow that same tune. I feel like I am succeeding and succeeding with time to spare.
Show Up On Time By Knowing Yourself First
Knowing why you are always running behind can help you work out how to start giving yourself more time before all of your appointments.
1). You hate morning commutes – if this is the case, make sure you make it worth your while by spending some extra time catching up on emails or reading the news. If you travel for an hour every day, I suggest leaving 2 hours earlier than usual so that you still arrive at work early (or half an hour later if there’s no rush). Make this journey worthwhile by getting better quality sleep!
2). You’re always reaching for the snooze button – if this sounds like you, make sure you set your alarm for 7am every day. If you’re not a morning person at all, then maybe go to bed half an hour earlier and see how that feels over a week or two – it’s amazing what a difference this can make!
3). You never seem to have enough time in the morning – even though we always say we don’t sleep as well as we used to, making sure you start waking up earlier will help so much. Try giving yourself 30 minutes extra before leaving for work so that life isn’t hectic from the moment you wake up. Maybe aim to leave your house one hour earlier too? Or if there’s no rush on your commute, leave 2 hours before work starts instead of just one.
4). You often forget what day it is – this can be down to poor memory, lack of sleep or just the fact that you’re always running late (and therefore not thinking about what day it is half the time). If you’ve got a bad memory then try setting an alarm on your phone every night before bed so that when you get up in the morning, all of your dates are written down. If you’re struggling to sleep because life feels hectic, try meditating for 15 minutes each night and see how much calmer and more relaxed life becomes. If you still struggle to remember appointments even after trying these two things, I’d recommend seeing a doctor who will be able to help!
5). You wait until the last minute – if you’re someone who always leaves things to the last minute, then try leaving earlier. Although this might not seem convenient for you, it’s so much better than being late on a regular basis. This can be applied to more than just your morning commute too – say you need to go food shopping but don’t want to leave yourself stressed out in case there are no parking spots or queues at the checkout? Well then get up 10 minutes earlier and get sorted before you even leave the house!
6). You forget about your daily appointments – make sure you stick your daily calendar appointment in a prominent place (perhaps on your bedroom wall?) so that every time you walk past it, or see it when scrolling through social media, you remember that you have something to go to today.
7). You’re always rushing around – make sure you leave enough time for any journeys in the morning by considering all different types of transport and how long they might take. Leave an hour or two extra if necessary, it’s better than being late! If you still struggle with managing your time, I’d suggest learning a little about mindfulness because this will definitely help your daily life become less hectic.
8). You get sidetracked – if getting sidetracked is usually your biggest problem then try setting yourself a timer while doing tasks at home/at work so that you know exactly when things need to be finished. This can also go hand-in-hand with leaving more time for your morning commute, so if you know traffic is bad at a certain time of day try setting this as the timer so that when you’ve reached the gridlocked part of town, you’ll know it’s time to leave in order to arrive on time.
9). You really struggle with getting out of bed – If this is something you have a problem with then I’d recommend trying no-tech alarm clocks – they’re amazing! Basically, there are two types – one wakes you up by gradually lighting up and playing a soothing sound, which can be any noise or song from gentle bird tweeting to epic house music (the latter would definitely wake me up!), and the other just emits light without noise. They are great because once your eyes open and the light is visible, you’re already up! One word of warning though – this alarm clock isn’t for the feint-hearted, it seems like too much effort to get out of bed (if you can even manage it) when your eyes are still closed.
10). You don’t value yourself – if this is something that’s definitely true for you then perhaps try building some mindfulness into your daily routine. This will help you become more aware of what’s happening around you and how it might affect other people on a daily basis. This also includes being more responsible for yourself so that if being late happens by accident, instead of forgiving yourself just slip into old habits again, then think about how rescheduling or changing your plan would be beneficial for you.
11). You’re just naturally disorganized – there are simple ways to change your organizational skills, so if this is something that’s true for you then try putting together a bullet journal every day. If the idea of planning out your day in print seems daunting, don’t worry because it doesn’t have to be perfect or beautiful! Just draw up a list of things you need to do and when they need to be finished by, then use different colors to show when events overlap.
12). You don’t have enough hours in the day – Make sure you take time out for yourself each day because this will help manage stress levels and allow you more time in your schedule, which means less running around trying to get everything finished.
Strategies To Show Up On Time
Just because being late is something that happens regularly, it doesn’t mean it’s completely out of your control or inevitable. There are many reasons why people find themselves always running behind. But the good news is, there are things you can do to show up on time for yourself and others.
As someone who is always running late, being able to get out of the house on time has been a problem for me. But I have found several ways to combat this issue so that I can start giving myself more time before my next appointment. Here are some of my favorites:
1). Get better sleep – one way that you manage chaos is by being well rested. There are plenty of studies that show how an improved night’s sleep can significantly reduce stress levels which in turn helps your body cope better with life’s ailments. Plus, if you’re getting good quality sleep, it naturally takes longer for you to wake up at the alarm clock every morning because your body wants to prolong its slumber before waking up!
2). Start waking up earlier – this is one of the most obvious things on the list, but it’s also one of the hardest! But I get out of bed 10 minutes earlier every morning and have gained an extra hour every week. It means I can spend less time getting ready in the morning or rushing around at the end of the day when I get home from work. And if you’re usually running behind burning midnight oil until all hours, setting your alarm for 7 am instead of 8 am could change everything!
3). Give yourself more time to get ready – If you want to show up on time then you need to start making that happen. Waking up 10 minutes earlier isn’t going to be enough if you are still struggling to get out of the door as it is. Maybe you need to give yourself
30 minutes more time before leaving? If you have a commute to work, maybe allow for an hour (giving you time for your daily workout or some breakfast), or if there’s no rush on your journey, make sure you leave 2 hours earlier than usual so that you can still arrive at work early. Or maybe it means getting up half an hour later – but hey, what’s thirty minutes when it comes to feeling better about yourself by arriving somewhere on time?
4). Make like Nike and ‘just do it’ – sometimes all it takes is making the decision to be punctual. I’m not saying that this is easy; I’m still bad with this myself, but sometimes I think – ‘just do it’ and stop beating yourself up about being late. Get your butt out of bed, leave the house an hour earlier, and don’t stress too much about things that you can’t change (like spending 45 minutes on a train).
5). Resist the urge to sleep in – When we have been out late at night there is nothing nicer than snoozing away those extra 10 or so minutes before getting up for work, but those 10 minutes soon turn into half an hour as we hit the snooze button again and again. As great as it is to sleep in when you feel tired, you will just be rushing around even more if you keep doing this. If you want to reduce your stress levels, resist the urge to sleep in because life is much easier when you’re not running late.
If you’re always running late then I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone! We’ve all experienced the stress of running behind schedule, but that doesn’t mean this has to be a common part of your day-to-day life. There are simple things you can do to become a more organized person, which will help you manage your time better and give you enough hours in the day for everything.
Showing up on time for yourself is just as important as showing up for others. It’s all about taking control and making sure that your life is manageable. I know it sounds like an impossible feat, but there are things you can do to start giving yourself more time so that life isn’t so hectic and stressful all the time.