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The How-To Lounge: Becoming More Punctual

If you’ve always been a late person, then being punctual is an important, but oddly challenging, habit to learn. Not only will it come in handy for the boring necessities like paying the bills or making it to the dentist on time, but your friends will be ever so thankful. I’ve put together a few ideas for how to become a person who’s always on time. To see them,


  • Though some people think that if you’re not early, you’re late, I’ve always believed that right on time is best, give or take two minutes. Unfortunately, if you’re someone who’s perpetually late being on time may seem nearly impossible so I recommend that you start noting events on your calendar as starting 30 minutes before they actually do. It's a little trick that can make a big difference.
  • Another clever mind trick is to set all of your clocks 10 minutes ahead. Once you’ve made the switch, you’ll probably forget that you even did. Before you know it, you’ll be arriving 10 minutes earlier than you normally do.
  • If you're having not having any luck sneaking in a few extra minutes, then use the tools technology provides you, like schedule reminders on your computer or cell phone. You can even ask a more punctual friend to give you a call, too.
  • To determine how far in advance of a reminder you'll need, allow yourself at least an hour to get ready, and realistically calculate travel time, too. Then tack on an additional 30 minutes just to be safe. If you need to, set multiple alarms.
  • If you just can’t get yourself up and out the door, keep a running list of what the consequences are if you’re late, like extra traffic, a fee, lost dinner reservations, or an angry friend. Repeat them over and over again, or write them on sticky notes and put them up on every door of your house.
  • As always when learning a new habit, positive reinforcement is necessary. Reward yourself for a job well done and set specific goals you can achieve.

Before you know it, being punctual will become second nature!


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