8 Punctuality Tips Everyone Should Follow ...

Being punctual is something that I rarely have difficulty with, as long as I am the only one I have to take care of. Getting the rest of my family corralled and to their destinations on time is a different story. For the most part, the kids do a good job at being punctual for school, work, and other appointments. Here are 8 punctuality tips everyone should follow, or at least try to!

8. Make Sure Your Watch is Correct

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I’m sure this is a given for most. You’d probably be surprised to know how many people rely on a faulty watch to keep them punctual. Watch batteries die, the timing is off, the watch wearer forgets to wind it, etc. There are so many things that can go wrong with a watch. I recommend double-checking your watch every now and then to make sure it is keeping the correct time.

7. Be Sure You Are Reading the Clock Correctly

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I can recall at least twice where I’ve glanced at the clock hands and misjudged the hand placement. I’ve looked at the short hand of a clock and mistook it for the long hand, due to them being placed so close together at a particular time. Thankfully I wasn’t trying to keep track of time for punctual purposes; otherwise I would have been late for my appointment. However, I was watching the time for something that was baking in the oven. Yep, I burned it to a crisp. I glanced at the clock and noted where the small hand was – thinking it was the large hand – when I looked back at the clock after some time and realized it hadn’t moved, I noticed my mistake. Unfortunately the baked goods were emitting a burnt smell from the oven at approximately the same instant.

6. Avoid the Snooze Button

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Hitting the snooze button can be oh so tempting some mornings. I had to place my clock on the table away from my bedside, in order to not have immediate access to the snooze button. It’s too easy to slap the clock and sleep that extra 5, 10, 15 minutes. I’ve actually found it easier to get my day started and not be pressed for time by waking up 15 to 20 minutes earlier than I truly need to. This gives me a chance to relax and wake up slowly with my cup of coffee as I check my email. I also don’t feel so rushed and am less likely to forget something and have to come back home to retrieve it.

5. Arrive Early to Your Appointment

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I don’t like sitting around waiting for things to happen, but sometimes it’s better to arrive much earlier than you anticipated. I’ve started keeping a book in my car and one in the bag I always have with me. This keeps me entertained, no matter where I am. Reading is a great way to pass the time while you wait for others to arrive. If you aren’t much of a reader, then try carrying a source of music with you or a personal gaming device. I like to get to my destination at least 10 if not 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be there. This gives me ample time, in case I run into some sort of traffic issue.

4. Keep a Mental Note of Time

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It’s hard to keep track of time every minute of the day. Making a mental note of how long something takes you should help you stay on track better. For instance, I know it takes me 10 minutes to get from my house to the school. I figure in 5 minutes more for the occasional delay – feed truck, mailman, rogue squirrel – and try to adjust my schedule accordingly. With these two time allotments in mind, I then try to leave the house 20 minutes before I really need to be at the school.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

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Being well-rested enables you to think more clearly and be less inclined to forget something. Unless you have someone who actively stands next to you and tells you what time it is and what needs to be done at that very moment, you’ll need to be thinking straight so you can complete your morning ritual successfully. It’s much easier to remember what you are supposed to be doing when you’ve slept well the night before.

2. Write Things down

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I have sticky notes all over the house some mornings. I also have a notebook beside the bed for those last minute things I remember that I need to do in the morning. If I don’t write them down when I think if them, I find myself standing in the kitchen in the morning trying to recall what I was supposed to remember! I’ve wasted a lot of time this way. Writing down things I need to remember to do has saved me from having to turn around and come back home to complete them. Backtracking is not conducive to punctuality!

1. Set Your Clocks to the Same Time

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Most people don’t only have a single clock in their home. The DVD player has one, the microwave has one, there are usually multiple alarm clocks, there is a clock on the radio in the car, and sometimes one or two more can be found throughout the house. Make sure each of these is set for the correct time. Daylight Savings Time can be a detrimental event for the first couple of days, especially if you forget to adjust the time on one of the clocks in the house. The only exception to this tip that I have is that teenage boys will stretch time as far as it can possibly go. My boys tend to consult the clock on the microwave in the kitchen, so I have it set for 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

I’m sure some of these 8 punctuality tips everyone should follow don’t work for some people. I have a friend that is never on time for anything. No matter how hard she tries, she just can’t seem to make it. There is always some freak accident or an issue with an animal, whether it’s a pet or a wild critter in the yard. What tips for being punctual do you have to share?

Top Photo Credit: Steve Grosbois

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