A wonderful article by Annie Gabillet on the psychology of being late.
Selfish. Inconsiderate. Irresponsible. If you're constantly late, people might associate you with these negative qualities. A lack of punctuality has more to say about your relationship with yourself than your feelings for friends, family, and co-workers, but they don't always see it that way. To add hours to your day and make everyone around you appreciate your newfound reliability, kick these bad habits now. No procrastinating!
You think best-case scenario. Two out of five workday mornings the subway takes 20 minutes. But three out of five days? It takes 40 minutes. You need to plan for 40.
You hate downtime. When you get to an appointment early, do you resent the "wasted" time you could have spent being productive at home or at the office? Embrace it. There are actually scientific benefits to daydreaming.
Before leaving the house, you do just one more thing. If you need to catch the bus at 8:30 a.m., 8:29 a.m. is not the time to load your dishwasher.
You rely on phones to buy you more time. Texting your friend or emailing your manager "I'm running five minutes behind!" does not excuse your tardiness.
You neglect your calendar.Don't let meetings or appointments surprise you. Keep your calendar up to date and review it at the end of each workday and first thing in the morning so you can prepare.
You wait for a crisis situation to motivate you. There's nothing like a hard deadline to spring you into action. But waiting for adrenaline to kick in means that you're constantly putting out fires and not planning ahead. You wouldn't have to rush to your friend's birthday drinks on Thursday if you thought ahead about finishing that important work task on Monday.
You pack too much into your day. Be realistic about what you can do and when you can do it. Don't hesitate to say no. Underpromising and overdelivering is better than not keeping commitments.
You snooze. That snooze button is sabotaging your chances of being on time. A better morning starts the night before. For a more restful night's sleep, when you crawl in bed trade your overstimulating and potentially stress-inducing smartphone for a regular old book.
You overindulge. Alcohol can also lead to poor sleep and a sluggish morning. Whether you're trying to make it to a Friday morning meeting after happy hour or Sunday brunch with an old pal, skip that last glass of wine the night before and hydrate instead.
You avoid the real issue. If you commute during a horrible rush hour, maybe you should shift your hours. Get more work done in the evening? Ask your boss to move your start time from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and stay later. If you have a health issue that is keeping you up at night, visit the doctor.