Running late is an uncomfortable feeling. Regardless of the reason behind why you are late or racing to be on time, there is no doubt that this is a stress you would eliminate if you knew how to do so effectively.
I am one of those who simply accepted the fact that I am chronically late. That is until I received an invitation to a wedding anniversary. This surprise party came with the usual instructions; RSVP in private and arrive on time, but this invite had an additional note. It seems this couple is ALWAYS on time. Not only are they always on time, their daughter added they are often early to events. I thought this was interesting.
Of course I know this couple, I know how busy they are with work and family demands, but according to the people who know them best, their children, they are ALWAYS on time. So I thought, maybe I can turn this ship around? Work on a new reputation. Not only be on time, but prepared. Arrive ready to be a part of the action and not sliding in at the last possible second frazzled and out of breath!
Acknowledge you have a problem
This is the first step in any self-help program, admit that you have a problem and need to change.
Chronic lateness is little more than a bad habit.
Step out of the time warp syndrome
I am one who underestimated the amount of time it takes to do practically anything. Time distortion is my main problem. Track the amount of time it takes to do different activities throughout a normal day. This helps pinpoint the problems and gives you a better idea how realistic your schedule really is.
Escape the one-more thing trap
You are ready to head out the door, but since you have time you decide to check your email. Or maybe you would have been able to get out the door on time, if you hadn’t gone searching for that notebook and then forgot where you dropped your purse and you know you can’t leave without sunglasses. This could go on for an hour or more. Instead, put everything you need by the front door and never say to yourself, “It’ll just take a second,” as you turn on your computer.
Too many yes’s not enough you’s
Are you overwhelmed by responsibilities? Then why oh why did you tell the PTA president that you would copy that stack of papers before the meeting when you also told your neighbor you would drive her to the store and did you remember your child at soccer practice?
People pleasing is one of those insidious habits that creeps in and takes over. Next time someone asks for a favor, pause long enough to check your calendar. Take a good look at how busy you are while you are there, can you really say yes to this project in good faith. Start saying no for a while to free up your time and get your frazzled state under control.
Start making the clock your constant companion. Keep an eye on the time as you work and run errands. Tracking your day can really change the way you look at things. Vow to leave with time to spare and start enjoying your commute time. When you are not driving white knuckled with a knot in your stomach, you can suddenly listen to the radio and enjoy the scenery!