1. The first step is acceptance. Admit you have a problem and enlist help.
2. Surround yourself with clocks (not just the one on your cell phone).
3. Bring something to read or occupy you, so if you arrive early, you don’t feel like you’re “wasting time.”
4. Give yourself a handicap. If you’re a bad estimator, double the time you think it will take to get there.
5. If you’ve never been where you’re going, look up directions beforehand (not at the time you’re supposed to be walking out the door).
6. Before you accept invitations for engagements, ask yourself if you really can, or want to, attend. If you’re hesitant, perhaps it’s better to politely decline than rudely arrive late.
7. Don’t try to do too much. Keep a detailed schedule and don’t be distracted by tasks not on it.
8. Fine yourself a dollar (to your piggy bank) for every minute you’re late.
9. Hypnosis. Hey, it can’t hurt, right?
And for those of you who always arrive on the dot (well done), but are frustrated by your unfashionably late friends and colleagues, try these tips:
1. Calmly let the person know you’re irritated.
2. Impose some kind of consequence, playfully at first. For example, if your friend is late for a coffee date, she buys.
3. Give her a taste of her own medicine. On your next meeting, show up as late as she was the last time.
Time is not money for everyone, but it is a resource. If you waste someone’s, they can’t get it back. Punctuality is about consideration, and it’s something I’m working on. I’ll keep you posted, but now I’ve gotta run. I’m late. (divine caroline 2006-2009)