How to Stop Being Late All the Time
To be late once is understandable. Being late often or even “sometimes” is rude. It’s time to get back on schedule. We’ve rounded up the best Lifehacker tips for getting on time from over a decade of blog posts and added some new tips. This is an extensive list of practical methods to be on time.
Hack your brain
Use these tips to motivate yourself to be on time and impose punctual habits on yourself.
Never explain why you are late. If you don’t allow yourself to apologize, you stop letting yourself get off the hook. And you will understand how often you gave reasons as if everyone didn’t know them yet. There is a classic Luke heading: “A Woman Constantly indulging in Herself One Day.” Don’t be “the person who is constantly being delayed for one good reason.” Instead of focusing on the reasons, apologize for the consequences of being late. This is a worthy thing to do.
Remove anything from your schedule. Once a day or once a week, depending on how late you are. Do not fill this time with anything else. When you have some free time, use it to prepare for your next appointment.
Calculate how much your lateness is costing you. If you get paid by the hour, find out how much less you earn when you are late. If you choose more expensive modes of transport, calculate the cost difference. See how much you spend each year on being late.
Visualize being late for a meeting with someone. Feel shame and panic. Imagine the worst reaction they could have, be it disappointment or “not crazy, just disappointment,” which makes you feel like a real jerk. Now imagine that you came earlier . Think about peace of mind while you wait for the other person. Consider getting up from your seat and greeting them warmly, generously forgiving their own lateness.
Think of your most chronically late friend or colleague. Get rid of all the frustration you have ever felt towards them, all the contempt. Wow, kind of tough with your friend, but now think about other people who treat you that way. Avoid it.
Plan exactly what you will do on your phone while you wait for everyone else to show up. This is free time when you are allowed to do anything, like play a mobile game or watch YouTube without feeling guilty. Get aroused not by what you’re heading for, but by the five minutes alone before it starts.
Get up early one morning, silly , and immediately start your morning routine. You may not be out early, but you will feel the luxury of having more morning time. (You may have to leave your phone hidden to avoid missing out on time.) This can give you a preliminary idea of what it would be like to be on time, which helps motivate you to improve.
Set multiple alarms. Not to wake up, but to reach milestones in your morning routine. Set an alarm for taking a shower, one for getting dressed, and one for walking out the door. Dividing large projects into smaller ones is the main productivity technique and it’s a good use of it.
Make your morning playlist. If multiple alarms are too stressful, turn off your morning playlist so that when you’re on your schedule, the best song will play for each activity: the most melodious shower song, the most exciting breakfast song, the most energetic walk Open song. This is especially fun with children.
Use these specific tools and strategies to stay on track.
Always add three minutes away from your estimated travel time. This is the time spent running inside for something, or walking to your car, or taking the elevator down to the office lobby. This is something that Google Maps cannot warn you about.
Always add the length of one error to the estimated travel time. Do you know how the weather forecast gives shade temperature? If nothing bad happens, travel times are indicated by car and public transport. Add in the time you waste if you missed the bus, or if the fastest route was suddenly blocked, or if your flight was delayed, or if the Uber app crashed. If one typical delay is enough to make you late, then you are not leaving early enough.
Make a long list of everything that needs to happen before you walk out the door, such as a to-do list and a to-do list. No item is too small. Include anything you would do on a particularly late day. There is “To brush your teeth”; “Change your mind about which sweater to wear”; “Go cocoa” there. Before you even make this list, you will be more aware of how much you are doing during your daily routine and will notice steps that need to be eliminated or shifted in time.
Do all the “bullshit” on the trip the night before. Choose your outfit, pack your bag, find your keys and an umbrella. Prepare the coffee maker with a bowl and cereal spoon. On critical occasions, physically grab whatever you need tomorrow and stand outside the door. When you close the door, you will remember one more thing that you forgot.
If you have children, make this preliminary preparation more explicit. Turn your dresser into an everyday bag by storing everyday clothes and other essentials in a separate drawer. Help your kids fill it out on the weekend.
To make this nighttime preparation a habit , find natural ways to fit it into your daily routine before bed. Pick out tomorrow’s clothes while you put off today. Lay out your breakfast utensils while you clean up after dinner.
If you keep waking up late because you are going to bed too late, your problem is that you are “late” for bed. Get ready for bed as early as morning. Once you get home, before plopping down on the couch, do what you usually put off until the end of the night.
Choose a shower. Give yourself five or three minutes to wash the dishes and not dream. Use your favorite song as a timer if it’s not too distracting. Make the shower cold enough to be uncomfortable.
Don’t drink coffee until you get to work. A big change, and your body will fight back at first. But the best time to enjoy a hot drink is when you get to work and can drink it in peace, not when you pull on your clothes and brush your teeth. And the longer you put off your morning coffee, the more awake you will be – after your body has adjusted.
If you’re late for things like phone calls and digital appointments, set two meeting alerts : one an hour ahead to open all the apps you need, sign in, and install any updates. One in two minutes to close the rest of the applications and reopen those that are necessary for the call.
Use the function of notifying your calendar that it is “time to leave.” Google and Apple offer alerts based on current travel times. They are not 100% reliable. But they are great when combined with another trick that never works on its own: mark all of your appointments as starting five minutes early. This will activate the alert a little earlier and you are less likely to be able to fix it yourself.
Make others arrive on time
If you always show up on time, here’s how to encourage others to do the same.
Clarify your feelings. Lifehacker Editor-in-Chief Melissa Kirsch wants to start every meeting on time. She doesn’t have a well-thought-out policy; she just told the team that we would start the meetings on time. When someone is unexpectedly late, Melissa politely and professionally views it as a minor annoying mistake. She did not go into details, but put the meeting on hold until everyone arrived. She made us one of the most punctual teams I’ve ever worked on, let alone.
When you arrive, shut up. If you have a friend who is constantly running late, give him a trial period and make this personal policy to prevent him from being late: When you arrive for something on time, put your phone on airplane mode. Leave fifteen minutes after arrival. This is a specialized policy, recommended only for dealing with real problem people.
Don’t let being late get contagious. If someone is constantly late for a meeting with you, don’t use that as an excuse to be late. You will eventually get into their habit and be late for other people who have never earned this treatment.
If you are in control of the event, develop a lateness policy. When I took improvisation lessons at the Vertical Citizenship Brigade, which is completely based on group interaction, they had a strict policy: “If you are more than 15 minutes late, you will be marked absent. If you are more than 30 minutes late, you will not be admitted to class. ” If you are late more than two times, you will be banned from attending the remaining classes and the money will not be returned.
Try it. Don’t let being late make you late. When you can, schedule an end time for each meeting. If an event starts late does not mean that it starts late – it means that the event is shorter. Don’t let latecomers rule the alien world.