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Do you find yourself consistently punctual, getting bothered by those who are always late? Or are you the person who perpetually struggles with timeliness, desperately trying to improve but finding it challenging? If you have kids, chances are being on time becomes an even greater challenge. If you fall into the latter category and struggle with punctuality, fret not. Read on to discover some excellent ways to improve your time management and be on time for everything.
Make The Decision And Act On It
Decide now to be on time. You hate when you are the host of something and all of your guests are late, so think about that and decide now not to be that person. Do not go late to meetings, church, work, or even a casual family party.
Set Your Clock Ahead
Set your clocks ahead. A great way to remind yourself of the time is to have your clock set 10 minutes fast. This will help you to recognize that it is time to go. If you need to be somewhere by 5 and it takes 10 minutes to get there, if your clock reports after 5, you know you will be late. So, get ahead of the game with your clocks.
Plan Your Best Route
Plan your route, etc. Part of being on time is making a plan for how you will be on time. So, think about the things you have, what time you have to be there, what time you will need to leave to get there on time, how long it takes to eat, shower, dress, do your hair, grab the kid’s things, your briefcase, or whatever it is that you need to take with you. Then add it all up and give yourself a buffer. That way, you plan to be on time.
Always Be Prepared For The Unexpected
Now plan for the accidental and incidental. If you plan for things like the baby pooping through their outfit, the juice spilling on the wall, or the keys being lost, then you never are late because there was an accident or incident. Yes, they make great excuses, but if you want to be on time for everything, you have to plan for everything, even a 3 car pile up on the road.
Set a Schedule
Once you make your plan, you have to actually stick with it. If you need to be up by 7 to get out the door on time, make sure you are up by 7.
Prepare What You Can In Advance
Do what you can in advance. If you have to be at a birthday party at 5 and you are trying to fit in picking up kids from soccer, ballet, and school, and you need to have a gift and a potluck item to share, then decide what you can do prior to the time you are rushing to get to the party. You obviously can’t pick up the kids early, but you can make your potluck menu item the day before and have it ready to go. Have the gift picked up, wrapped, and in the car so you are not scrambling to find tissue paper, and you can let your children know where to be, so picking them up is fast and easy.
Stick To The Plan
The most important and critical part of being on time for everything is not trying to squeeze in one more thing. We all are guilty of doing this from time to time. I will just change a load of laundry before I run out. I will just watch one more play in the game before I shut off the television and leave. I will get the floor swept, grab the trash to take to the can, or make that “quick” phone call. If it is not part of your plan to be on time, do not do it.
Set Backup Alarms
If you know you have a tendency to run late regularly because you lose track of time at home, or you just have so much going on that you forget to check the time, set alarms warning you at 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and even 5 minutes before you have your final alarm that should go off as you walk out the door! It is very helpful.
Check The Traffic
If you live in a congested area you will want to make sure to always check the traffic report a few times before it is time to leave. Give yourself enough time to make changes and get out early if it is a particularly difficult traffic day.
Don’t Make Extra Stops
If you are trying to get somewhere on time, that is not the time to make a coffee run or go into the grocery store quickly unless you built that time into your schedule ahead. If you plan to be on time, and don’t plan for stops, it won’t work out.
Or, if you have to do it, it will need to replace something on your plan. You only have so much time, so quit trying to squeeze one more thing in. Time does not expand.
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