We’ve all been there – late, frazzled, embarrassed. There are some common reasons why you’re late every day, but there’s good news! The solutions to these problems are easy, actionable, and can be implemented today to help you become the most punctual person you know.
Alright, let me honest with you here…
I fluctuate between being chronically late and being right on time, and it’s kind of rare for me to be super early.
I try really hard to be early or on time, but about half the time I run late.
Growing up, one phrase I heard in the band world all. the. time. was:
“Early is on time. On time is late.”
It’s a great quote. It’s one that band directors across Texas say so much I’m sure it shows up in their dreams more often than they’d like to admit.
And for the majority of my musical career, I lived by this quote.
Fast forward to marriage and babies and… well… let’s just say things get a little more interesting when you’re not just trying to get yourself out of the door!
But regardless of how many people you need to get prepped, ready, and out the door in the morning, there are solutions to help you get control of your morning.
It’s all about being intentional about the start of your day, and that intention really begins the night before.
If you’ll take the time to simply implement a few strategic decisions, you may find that it’s a little easier to make it out of the door on time.
Take a look below and see if you can target the areas that you struggle with the most. Choose one or two and start working on its’ solution.
Grab your Habit Tracker HERE to help you keep track of how well you’re doing and really start building the habits that are going to increase your punctuality.
Reasons Why You’re Late Every Day (And How to Help You Fix It)
There are a million reasons we all end up late at some time or another, but these are the most common and universal reasons.
The Problem: No Prepping
You jump out of bed (or crawl, whatever), scramble to find clean clothes, start the coffee maker, stare at your bare pantry for 10 minutes willing a breakfast item to appear, forget your coffee, and run out the door already late and forgetting the proposal you’re supposed to present today laid out all over your dining table.
Oh, but let’s make things interesting – You also need to drop the kids off at grandma’s, they don’t have clean clothes, you’re out of diapers for the little one, and now everyone is in tears.
When you’re trying to get everything ready each morning it’s easy to get overwhelmed and run late.
Take a few minutes every evening and get ready for the following day.
Lay out your outfit
Plan your breakfast
Set your coffee maker on an automatic brew setting
Create a place to keep your keys, wallet, work documents, purse, and anything else that needs to go with you in the morning
Keep a short Reminders list next to your keys for things such as your kid’s lunch, project, or any oddball thing that you feel you need to be reminded of
Spend a few more minutes prepping for your kid’s day, too.
Lay out their outfit
Prepare their lunch and put it in the fridge
Plan their breakfast
Get their backpack packed and ready to go
Restock the diaper bag with diapers, wipes, snacks, and a set of spare clothes
The Problem: Not Allowing Enough Time
Someone feels sick, the outfit you planned to wear has a stain, or the dog decides to have a potty accident all over your couch.
“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” – Murphy’s Law
We all know how true this is, especially when you throw kids into the mix. It’s rare for things to go exactly according to plan.
Always try to plan in at least 15 to 30 minutes of “fudge” time and take into consideration the tasks that need to be done.
Consider activities you don’t do daily, such as shaving your legs, and make sure to wake a little earlier to make time for those activities
Ensure that you have enough time to prepare and eat breakfast
Admittedly, I am the world’s worst with this one! I literally set about twenty alarms and turn them all off in the morning.
When you set multiple alarms, your body and mind become trained to ignore them. You know you have a “backup” alarm set, which leads to another “backup,” and another. Before you know it, you’ve slept through all of your alarms and now you’re running so so behind.
Try to get in the habit of setting ONE alarm and getting up when it goes off. The more you build up this habit, the easier it will be.
Set ONE alarm early enough to give you some spare time the following morning
Set your phone or alarm clock out of reach, preferably far enough to make you have to get up out of bed to reach it
Turn the volume UP
Make the alarm tone something that will definitely wake you
The Problem: Trying Something New
You found the perfect healthy breakfast on Pinterest and you’ve decided today is the day to try out that new recipe! Next thing you know, you’re running an hour behind because it took far longer to chop those veggies than you intended and you didn’t even have time to enjoy your new meal.
Mornings on a time schedule are not the time to try the new hairdo, the new outfit, or the new breakfast frittata.
New things usually tend to eat up more time than we intend, especially when they don’t work out the way we’d like them to.
Use mornings that you don’t have anything planned, or even a different time of the day, to try out those new things.
Test your new hairstyle on a day you don’t have something important planned
Break in your new shoes ahead of time
Test your new skincare routine on a small patch of skin
The Problem: Checking Social Media and/or Email
Your alarm goes off, you grab your phone, and you promise yourself you’ll just check things out for 5 minutes. 45 minutes later you’ve checked your Facebook, email, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and a million other apps, and you’ve most likely accomplished nothing.
I know when I tell myself I’ll just check Facebook for 5 minutes, it quickly turns into 30, and then all of the sudden I’m rushed and running late.
Social media and email can be a major time suck which can quickly eat up your prep time and cause you to run behind.
Try getting yourself ready before ever checking your social media. If you have a few spare minutes before you leave, you can reward yourself with a couple social media minutes.
Schedule time in your day to address your email inbox
Your day starts haphazardly and lacks structure. You do things as you feel like it, and tend to find yourself running late often due to avoiding certain tasks that you don’t enjoy. You have no realistic idea how long it takes you to get ready, eat, or even apply your own makeup.
A lack of routine often manifests in a messy and chaotic life, which leaks over into your punctuality.
Having a routine can help you anticipate and plan your prep time better, which will give you a more accurate idea of how long it’ll take you to get ready.
Figure out what you need to do daily and plan those tasks in an order that leads to efficiency
Take a few days to really pay attention to how long it takes you to perform each task
Consider creating a Daily Routine, which will increase your productivity and your punctuality
The act of being punctual rarely happens on accident. We all have life pop up and cause us to run behind from time to time, but by implementing a few intentional acts into each day, you can begin mitigating the repercussions of those interruptions in regards to your timing.
Make the choice to take control of your day. Don’t let circumstances run your life.
If you feel like you need help keeping track of your new methods to keep you punctual, you can pick up a habit tracker here. There’s just something so satisfying about checking off those boxes every time you accomplish a goal. You don’t want to miss out on this freebie!
What are your best tips to keep you from running late?