5 Reasons You're Late — and How to Avoid Them

POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich
POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich

Punctuality is a crucial part of professionalism and making positive first impressions. While we've heard some ridiculous excuses for being late, tardiness is usually caused by something more mundane. If you regularly find yourself racing the clock, take a step back and assess what's causing you to run behind.

  • Alarm problems. Either it didn't go off, you set it for the wrong time, or you slept right through it — whatever the case, turn around your alarm troubles by spending some extra time planning your sleep schedule. Make sure you're getting seven to eight hours of shut-eye each night and guarantee a smooth morning by setting two or three alarms. Struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Place your alarm on the other side of the room so that you're forced to get up to turn it off.
  • Getting ready gets chaotic. Where's your purse? Your keys? Did you leave that shirt at the dry cleaner? These stressful moments are easily avoidable. Prep for your morning the night before and make a list of everything you need to grab before heading out the door. And be honest with yourself — if it takes you 15 minutes to do your hair, don't allot five.
  • A friend calls or an email pops up. Don't let random interruptions distract you for too long. If your phone rings, answer it and talk to your friend for a minute or so, then ask to call her later and get back on track. If you receive an email that requires an immediate reply, take care of it as quickly as you can and then close your phone to keep from checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • The Internet steals your attention. It's tempting to look at your phone, your computer, or your iPad every five minutes, but avoid the unnecessary glances when you're on a schedule. Save the status updates for when you arrive at your destination and leave the mindless web browsing for later on.
  • You miss the bus. If you approach the corner just as your bus pulls away, try not to panic. If you let yourself get flustered, you'll only make it harder to solve the problem. Instead, take stock of your options: Could you call a cab? Take another route? Call a friend? Ideally, you'll get in the habit of taking an earlier bus so that you have plenty of time to wait and hop on the next one.

Still late to . . . pretty much everything? Maybe you've been working too hard and need some downtime. Check out these alternative treatments to uplifting yourself.