Time Management Tips to Stop Being Late

Sue Anderson
Written by Sue Anderson
Updated November 10, 2015
time management
Practice time management skills instead of fighting with the clock. (Photo illustration by Frank Espich)

Don’t you hate it when you have to tell someone you’re running late… again?

We all know the feeling. You’re gripping the steering wheel so tightly because you’re stressed about getting to an event on time, then a train stops you. Avoid the stress with these tips.

Give yourself extra time

No matter what you are planning for, always pad in extra time. Allow extra travel time to account for accidents or construction. Give yourself extra time getting ready to account for kid spills or meltdowns. 

Change your thinking

If your appointment is at 8 a.m., don't think that means you should arrive at 8 a.m. Your plan should be to arrive early enough to allow ample time for parking and walking to the appointment. How many times have you had to circle a parking lot more than once looking for a spot? How many times have you gotten lost or turned around in a medical building? Remember, arrival time and appointment time are two different things. Adjust your plans so that your expected arrival time is 10 to 15 minutes earlier than you should be there. This extra little chunk of time will go a long way in reducing your stress level.

Prepare the night before

Gather together what you need for the next day the night before. Put your purse, wallet, backpack, keys, necessary paperwork and anything else you need by the door you exit through. If possible, go ahead and load what you need into the car the night before. Double check appointment times, address and directions the night before so you can plan accordingly.

Use a calendar

Be sure to mark all appointments and commitments on one calendar as quickly as you can. This way you can see conflicts immediately and also see where you may need more of a time gap between appointments for more travel time.

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