How to Be More Punctual – Three Easy Lifestyle Fixes

November 3, 2016
How to Be More Punctual – Three Easy Lifestyle Fixes

Do you struggle to get to work on time? Are you that person who always bursts into meetings six minutes late? Do you want to learn how to be more punctual?

Despite what other people might think, people who are often late do not actually enjoy being late. Lateness isn’t normally a conscious decision. People who struggle to be punctual don’t sit in their armchair, waiting for the clock to hit “five minutes late” before heading out the door.

Today’s article will help you be more punctual, by showing you three easy lifestyle changes to you can make.

The Psychology of Being Late

According to Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again, “most people really hate being late and have tried many times to fix it”. So why then, in a study led at San Francisco State University, does it seem that 17 percent of people suffer from chronic lateness? In Psychology Today, writer Alfie Kohn gives us a possible answer to chronic lateness, by reverse-engineering the process of being on time.

“How do other people usually get where they need to go on time?” he asks. His answer can be broken down into these five steps:

-They check the clock every so often.
-They estimate how much time they’ll need to get wherever they need to go.
-They work out what time they’ll need to leave where they are.
-They calculate how long it will take to finish what they are doing.
-They adjust their behaviour accordingly.

Alfie suggests that people who are chronically late probably don’t do these things. He suggests that this might be that they get lost in whatever they are doing, and lose track of time. He also suggests that it could be a lack of self-discipline. Or even a subconscious inability to stop doing whatever they are doing until it is finished.

According to, the reasons for chronic lateness are usually a result of:

-Poor planning skills.
-Easily distracted personality.
-Lack of motivation for being on time.

It is hard to draw a firm conclusion on why people are late. I suspect the answers vary from person to person. But if you want to learn how to be more punctual, then you’ll be happy to know that chronic lateness can definitely be fixed!

Three Easy Lifestyle Changes to Help You Be More Punctual

So, do you want to know how to be more punctual? Here are three easy suggestion to help get you started:

Over-Estimate Your ETA’s. From planning the time you need to get ready in the morning, to giving estimates on project delivery, you should always leave room for error. A good figure to use, according to, is 25%. If the commute to work normally takes 40 minutes, give yourself 50. If you are regularly late, then it might be that you are under-estimating how long things are going to take. But by over-estimating, you are not only going to be more punctual, but you may well earn a reputation for arriving (or delivering) ahead of schedule!
Make Good Use of Time Spent Travelling. Some people are often late because they try to cram too many tasks in before setting off somewhere. You can improve this by aiming to do more of your tasks on-the-go. For example, if you never leave the house without your morning coffee, why not buy a travel mug and drink it on the way to your destination?
Don’t Use Your Snooze. If you regularly hit “snooze” on your alarm, then you’re basically telling your brain that it’s OK to go back to sleep. This puts you at a greater risk of sleeping in by mistake. Get yourself into a habit of getting up the first time your alarm sounds, and you’ll be on time more often.

What advice do you have for people who want to know how to be more punctual? Leave your ideas and suggestions in the comments below.

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