How to Stop Being Late All the Time

Man Running Late for the Bus

Are you frustrated by the fact that, no matter how hard you try, you always seem to be running late? Some people, despite their best efforts, just have more difficulty keeping track of time than others. Perhaps you glance at the time one second to see you have plenty of time left, and then you glance again in what seems to you to be just a short while later, but it turns out you should have left a long time ago.

Instead of putting yourself down and viewing your chronic lateness as a some sort of personal failure, it is better to recognize your problem and try some helpful strategies to keep you running on time.


1) Learn how long it takes you to complete certain tasks

One of the major reasons why some people are late all the time is because they severely underestimate the length of time it takes for them to get ready. For example, someone who usually takes a 30-minute shower might mistakenly estimate that they only need 30 minutes to shower, get dressed, and do anything else they need to do before heading out.

If you don't yet have a ballpark figure for how long certain tasks take you, then try to spend about a week or so figuring it out. Glance at the time before performing actions such as taking a shower, preparing a meal, eating a meal, and getting dressed, and then glance at the clock again after.

Knowing how much time you spend where can help you better determine how much time you're going to need in order to prepare for something.


2) Focus on being early rather than on time

Perhaps the simplest way to ensure that you stop being late if you tend to underestimate the time you need to get ready and to travel is to focus on being early rather than exactly on time. If you're supposed to be somewhere at a certain time, then tell yourself that you absolutely must aim to get there 10, 15, or even 30 minutes earlier. If you're always just a few minutes late for everything, then aiming to be there sooner can help get you there right at the time that you're expected.

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3) Make use of alarms

Instead of simply using your smart phone to check and attempt to keep track of the time, why not set a few alarms while you are getting ready to remind you of how much time has passed and whether or not you're keeping up? Alarms are quick and easy to set, and can help you limit how long you spend in the shower, how long you spend eating, or how long you spend reading the news or browsing the internet.

Remember: Habits Won't Stick Without Practice

You may feel disheartened if you keep trying your best and still run late from time to time, but it's important not to give up. Many skills and attributes which aren't yours by nature can nevertheless be acquired by forming habits through practice.

Just be a little more mindful, get to know more about how you use your time, focus on being early, and keep yourself on course with some simple reminders, and you'll become the punctual new you in no time.

About the author: Brian Carroll is the CEO of Pivot Insurance and holds CLU & CPCU designations. He has been part of the life insurance industry for over 30 years. He is also an avid runner and has participated in many athletic endurance events. Brian established the anonymous life insurance quote process here at Pivot and takes pride in the caring and professional staff. You can reach Brian at 1-800-651-1953 or

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