Being punctual is a skill anyone can master; it doesn’t take any special talents or abilities. But even if you feel it’s an important trait to develop, you may still struggle with being on time and find the habit of always running late extremely difficult to overcome. Each time you’re tardy, you re-commit to becoming more punctual, and yet soon find yourself running behind once again.

Here are some ways to do that, along with other tips for helping you perceive time more accurately, short-circuit magical thinking about the clock, and always get where you’re going on time:

Make it a top priority to do everything promptly

To become more punctual, you should accept that you have a problem being on time. After that, accept that it is not a unique character that sets you apart. It is negative and needs to be eliminated. Therefore, commit yourself to ensuring that you are on time every time.

Redefine punctuality as a matter of integrity

It’s easiest to reach a goal when you feel a strong sense of purpose and motivation in doing so. So stop thinking of being punctual as something your mom or school teacher arbitrarily asked of you, and start viewing it as a matter of integrity — a way of keeping your promises and standing by your words.

Start taking note of the benefits of being punctual. Remember, you need to replace the benefit you were getting from the old habit of being late (the rush of beating the clock, the feeling of being special, etc.), with a new one for being punctual. So start taking note of the benefits of being punctual. These can be things like the satisfaction of self-mastery, increasing your sense of confidence and control of your life, and the respect you get from others for being reliable.

Use a timer to stay on track.

Set a countdown timer, with a large display you can read from across the room, with how long you want to spend on each activity; this will help keep you on track. If it has a feature where it gives you a five minute or one-minute warning, all the better.

What are your tips for always being punctual? Share them with us in the comments!

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