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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!


emalove emalove 9 years
I despise being late and I am a punctual person by nature. I think it's rude to keep people waiting. If it's an emergency situation or something that can't be helped, that's one thing, but chronic lateness in a person drives me nuts. I have a few friends that I should forward this to. Ha.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I'm usually about 5 minutes late. It's not too bad but it gets annoying rushing around. Getting stuff ready to go in the AM helps a lot with this one.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I am late sometimes. I have a tendancy to be late to family things... even if just going to my parents' for the weekend. I'll tell them I'll be there at a certain time and then be a few hours late. But usually it's b/c of stuff I can't control (school, traffic, etc). I was almost late to my graduation and I had to make a valedictory speech! lol "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." That would not work for me. I would never forget that I had changed the clocks!
phatE phatE 9 years
You must go through friends pretty quick then..
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
I think that if you're on time, you're late. I'm always early and I don't understand people who are late - one of my biggest pet peeves is waiting for people. I don't know what the limit is to waiting, but I've definitely waited for 45 min. for people before who didn't have a good excuse ... needless to say, I've never made plans with them again.
Colleeninator Colleeninator 9 years
I'm a late person. Not usually by a lot, generally around 10 minutes, but I already do all of these things (except that I can't always find an hour to get ready.
lolababy575 lolababy575 9 years
Much like Mondaymoos, I used to always be the early one out of my friends, waiting for everyone else arrive. I HATED that. So I started being late - at first a little and then a lot. It's not so bad with my friends, but it can be dangerous in other situations. I'm very fortunate that my work schedule is completely flexible (I come and go as I please) but I wish I could be a little more on time - as long as others do the same lol!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
Good post, I'm an early person and I hate when people are late. It makes me feel like their time is more important than mine. It's just inconsiderate, even when it's unintentional. Most of my friends are late people so I've learned to deal with it.
phatE phatE 9 years
I used to be on time or early every where I went.. But since I got a more relaxed job I have really slacked off, and it's effected other things too, like meeting someone for dinner, etc.. My mom was always incredibly late when we were growing up, she denies it now (which is funny) but whenever i was in dance, i would have my class, and then another group would start, and my mom would show up at the same time the other groups parents were coming back to get their kids and sometimes even later than that. I would also get home from school, and have to wait for EVER for her to come home and let me in.. I would sit outside, or go to a friends and it would be an hour or so before she'd get home.. I would PRAY that my dad or older siblings would be there and it got to the point that my dad would come all the way home to let me in and then go back to work.. I have no idea why I didn't have my own key, but anyway, my point to this is that I swore I would never ever be late, and here I am becoming more and more relaxed about it. I don't have the accountability with my job, and it's like one day I just stopped caring.
Sporky Sporky 9 years
I'm always early, for everything, and hate being late for anything. It bugs me that I'm like that!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
After four years in the military (if you're not 15 minutes early, you're late), I am alwaysalwaysalways early for everything. The idea of being late freaks me the hell out. But... all of my friends are late for EVERYTHING, so I'm usually the one sitting at the bar by myself waiting for them to show. *sigh*
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 9 years
I try to be on time but I usually end up being a few minutes early.
graylen graylen 9 years
I'm generally always 10 minutes late. I don't like that about myself. My boyfriend on the other hand, must be 30 minutes early to everything. Like, if his work hours are 9-5, he will get there at 8:30, so that by 9 he is ready to start working.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
i HATE being late...i take great precautions to make sure im not late
gemsera gemsera 9 years
im always early, thats my worst habit. I've gone for job interviews and waited half an hour in the car and another 15 minutes in the reception!! I do feel for those who are always late though, it never looks good!
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