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How to Be On Time Every Time

July 08, 2008 | 50,707 views

lateAre you constantly late for important meetings, family get-togethers and other appointments? Well here's something to consider: being late is not only stressful on yourself, it's stressful for the people who have to wait for you.

And if you're rarely on time, you can easily send the message that the people you're meeting with are not that important to you -- clearly a message that can damage both personal and professional relationships.

Changing your ways and being on time requires a bit of an attitude adjustment. Either don't schedule events that aren't important to you, or figure out a way to make those events feel important.

This Lifehack article has 10 more great tips that all of us can take advantage of to become more punctual:

1. Don't check your email or voicemail right before you leave. That "last quick check" will almost always take more time than you think.

2. Plan for trouble. Always add 25 percent to your time estimate to get anywhere or do any task.

3. Set up the night before. Lay out your clothes, put your wallet in your pants pockets or purse, load up your bag with whatever material you'll need, put your lunch together, and so on.

4. Set your clocks ahead a few minutes -- by different amounts. You might have a look at the Procrastinator's Clock, which is some random amount of time ahead, up to 15 minutes.

5. Learn to better estimate how much time things take. Use a time tracker app like RescueTime to learn how long typical tasks take you to complete.

6. Schedule events 10 minutes early. Put your 1:00 appointment into your schedule at 12:50.

7. Set reminders. Use your calendar program's built-in reminder function, or use a service like Sandy to send you text reminders at set intervals before each appointment

8. Schedule events for "off-peak" times. Learn the times that traffic or other factors might make you late, and avoid scheduling during those times.

9. Fill your gas tank when it reaches 1/4 tank. Don't let an empty gas tank make you late for anything.

10. Use a countdown timer. Grab a cheap digital timer, and use it to create a sense of urgency.

One other thing to consider if you have trouble being on time … your schedule. If you try to fit too much into a day, you'll not only risk being late, you'll risk burning out physically and emotionally.

In this short video, physician and futurist Dr. Richard Swenson has got some great tips on how to create more time to do the things you really want. It involves making a bigger "margin" in your life -- an essential thing not only for being on time but also for being happy.
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