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Be Punctual: Steps, Tips & Warning★

Acknowledge that you are a person
who is having a hard time being
punctual . As with any problem, you
cannot fix it if you're in denial that
it's a problem at all. But if your
chronic tardiness is beginning to
strain your job and/or your
relationships, the first thing you
need to do is acknowledge this as a
weakness so you can begin to work
toward correcting it. Although if it is
a rational problem,like traffic or
small children, there is no need to
feel bad - just keep working on it!
Be conscious of the time.
Keep your watch accurate. For
some people, moving up the
time on their watch will help
them be earlier. For others, they
will subconsciously know that
the time is wrong and so they
just disregard it altogether. It
may be helpful to set your
watch just two minutes ahead
instead of five or ten. This will
make you less likely to "factor
in" those extra few minutes.
Keep a clock, phone, computer
or anything that displays time
in each room of your house.
One of the easiest ways to run
late is simply by not realizing
that the time is going by as
quickly as it is.
Set all your clocks and watches
to the same time.
Don't be an optimist. Things
usually take significantly
longer than you'd expect, even
without major delays. If you
have a dinner date at 6:30 PM,
don't think you can work in
your yard until 6:00, then
shower, change, and drive
across town and make it on
time. Realistically assess the
time you will take on each step
and then add 10 minutes more
to allow for unexpected
delays,or you can get to the
restaurant first and get a good
seat, or if your date's early too,
you can spend more time with
each other! If you are a poor
judge of time, use a stop watch
or digital watch to time how
long it takes you to do routine
tasks to improve your accuracy.
However, you still need to give
yourself a cushion for
unexpected delays.
Wake up when you're supposed to
wake up. Don't hit the snooze
button, linger in bed, and watch TV
at the very start of your day.Maybe
even try setting your clock 10
minutes earlier than you need to. If
you have difficulty with this, move
your alarm clock to somewhere out
of reach from your bed; that way,
you have to get up to turn it off.
Acquire the habit of sitting up,
stretching, and getting out of bed
as soon as the alarm goes off. If you
can't get out of bed on time, you
may be going to bed too late. Try
sleeping earlier to allow yourself at
least 7 hours sleep. By getting up
late you are setting a pattern of
lateness for the rest of the day. For
more tips on how to do this, see the
Related wikiHows section below.
Commit yourself to being 15
minutes early for everything. If you
have to be to work at 8:00, don't
even tell yourself this. Just tell
yourself (and everyone else who
listens- but don't annoy them or
make them think that they are late
or early!) "I have to be at work at
7:45." If you do this, you will be on
time even with little unforeseen
interruptions. You will be on time
even with a traffic jam. And on
those rare times that you actually
show up 15 minutes early; you will
get kudos for being an enthusiastic
employee.You can also chat with
others who are early,and that will
make you happy before work!
Bring something you can read in
short segments almost everywhere
you go . This makes it easy to be
early, since in the 10-15 minutes
you have before an appointment/
event, you can get a few pages of
reading done. This makes it feel like
you're getting something done (and
you are) while you are waiting, if
you do have to wait. You can get a
ton of reading done this way, too.
Re-examine how long your daily
tasks really take . For example, you
might be under the impression that
you take a 15 minute shower,
assuming that starting at 6:30 you
can leave at 6:45. But, what about
the time you spend before and after
the actual shower? It's quite
possible you really spend 20 or
even 30 minutes in the bathroom,
and that's why you can never leave
by 6:45. So, think about the things
you do every day, and try and keep
an estimate of how long it takes
you.Just saying to yourself"Right
about 15 minutes for that" can fix
your lateness and takes about 5
Watch yourself for a few days to
see where you often waste the
most time . These "time
sinkholes" (such as getting
distracted while checking emails)
are often unnoticed by us and can
throw off your daily planning. Try
to change your habits around these
activities. For example, standing up
while quickly checking your emails
makes it hard to lose an hour
randomly surfing the web.
Make a note of where you should
be in regards to time . For instance, if
you have to leave your house at 8
for work, tell yourself, "It's 7:20, I
should be getting in the shower."
"It's 7:35, I should be brushing my
teeth." This will help keep you on
track. It is useful to think up a
morning schedule to get used to
this habit.
Keep organized. Disorganization is
directly related to lateness. How
often have you been late because
you were looking for your car keys
or couldn't find an important
document? Keep the things that
you use everyday in some
resemblance of organization and
your routines will go smoother.
Plan ahead.
Schedule something
unimportant right before
something very important. If
you have an essential interview
at 4:00, plan to meet a friend for
coffee at the coffee shop next
to your interview at 3:30. Then,
even if you are late to meet
your friend, you will be poised
to pounce on your meeting.But
remember to tell your friend
that you may miss your coffee
(they might feel that you are
ditching them.)
Pick out your clothes the night
before (don't forget your
underclothes and shoes!). If you
need to bring something with
you, set it with your car keys or
If you are going to some
unfamiliar place, look over a
map, or even drive there once if
at all possible. Have your
transportation planned; if you
drive, keep your car in good
order and refill gas in the tank.
If you ride a bus, know the
route, have your fare, and keep
cab money on hand in case of
emergency. If you are
depending on another person
for a ride—have a plan B!
Go to sleep on time. This makes it a
lot easier to get up on time and
helps you stay on task during the
day. Unless you know otherwise,
assume you need eight hours of
sleep every night. By far the
majority of people need at least this
much sleep. College students and
younger need more. Most people
underestimate their sleep needs.
Check the traffic before you leave.
Even better punctuality technology
is now available to alert you it time
to leave, aware of traffic incidents,
congestion or road works on your
route. Check out Prompt, the
punctuality app available for
BlackBerry devices.
Check the local weather reports for
road conditions during inclement
weather . Allow extra travel time. If
you ride the bus, call and make sure
it is on a regular schedule.
Eat at home, instead of stopping at
the fast food drive-through for
breakfast . You'll not only eliminate
waiting in a long line, but it's
Make appointments at exact,
perhaps seemingly overprecise
times . For example, instead of fixing
a meeting at 3pm, try 3.10pm. This
helps to focus on the starting time,
and gives the impression that it's
not only shorter, but that
punctuality is more important.
(Don't tell other people that it's
psychological or they might
discount the delay!)
Think of departure time versus
arrival time . Allow for the drive. If
you calculate 30 minutes to drive,
park and arrive, then you must be
in your car at a certain time, pulling
out toward your destination.

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