Okay, here it is. I’m just gonna say it. We’re late. Too often. And, I hate it. I hate being late. Typically, I think we’re gonna be on time until all of a sudden we’re not. We’re leaving five, seven, ten minutes later than I expected and, ugh, we’re late again.
Because I don’t want to be five years down the road still wishing we were getting places on time, I informally polled my friends recently to ask how they arrive on time. Here are some tips from them on how not to be late:
- Prepare ahead of time. You’ve heard this one before, right? But it’s true. For an early start, pack lunches and backpacks and lay out clothes the night before to prevent scrambling in the morning. Because we’re not quick eaters, I’ve started to plan out simple breakfasts for us to bring in the car with us.
- Plan for an arrival time, not a start time. When I’m heading to an event which begins at 9:00 a.m., if I plan to arrive at 9:00 a.m., I’m already late. As a family, we need five to ten minutes to park, walk in, unload, and find our seats. Planning to arrive at 8:50 a.m. makes us on time for our 9:00 a.m. start time.
- Clock your get-ready routine. When I started to really pay attention to how long each task was taking us in the morning, I realized that putting on shoes, coats, hats, and so on amounted to an extra five to ten minutes I hadn’t accounted for.
- Set a departure time. While I was paying attention to how long our getting ready takes, I noticed that I was thinking of our walking out the door time as the same thing as our departure time. Anyone with multiple children knows this is not true! Loading everyone and all their things into the car and buckling their seat belts takes time—some days more than others! Add in bad weather and I need even more time to depart which leads me to my final, recently-learned tip.
- Give yourself a cushion. I can give you at least a few real life scenarios that have unexpectedly delayed us: a gas tank on empty, construction road closures, and getting stuck behind a slow driver. Giving myself a cushion allows me to relax when these things happen, because I’ll still be able to arrive on time.
Want more help? Check out these helpful articles which a very organized, on-time friend shared with me.