Running late isn’t fun for anyone…not for you nor the person waiting for you because you either end up stressed, missing an appointment or deadline, or you’re left with a disappointed person on the other end.

While we all have unexpected situations come up from time to time, running late shouldn’t become a habit. After all, the early bird gets the worm! So here’s how you can be more punctual:

Prepare what you need the night before. If you made plans to hit the gym before work, prep your gym bag the night before. If you have a morning flight to catch, pack your luggage a few days before. If you have an important business meeting first thing in the morning, gather all the paperwork and material you need the day before. Catch our drift? The key here is to never leave things for the last minute!

Say “no” to distractions. It always seems like there are tons of chores to be taken care of before you have somewhere important to be whether the sink is full of dishes, the dog needs a walk, and the bills need to be paid. But all of that can wait because if you have somewhere to be, don’t try to fix every problem you see. Head straight to the door and leave those problems for when you do have the time.

Give yourself a 30-minute window. First, figure out when you need to leave in order to be on time. Then add 30 minutes to that. Life happens, which can include unforeseen traffic, car accidents, or someone parked behind you and blocked your car in. Give yourself a 30-minute window, a grace period if you will, for all the curveballs life can throw at you.

Trick yourself. Set the clocks on the stove, the microwave, and in your car 10 minutes faster. Guaranteed, at some point when you’re headed out the door, you’ll forget. Now you’ve given yourself an extra 10 minutes to park, maneuver through traffic, and let that elderly couple cross the street in front of you without any road rage.

Stop making excuses. Get real with yourself. Why are you always late? Is it because you procrastinate? Is it because you have too much on your plate? Figure out the reasons behind your tardiness and change them. It’s never too late to make changes and turn this habit around.

xx, The FabFitFun Team