Let’s face it: many situations in life demand punctuality. However, being on time can be a real struggle. Especially now that schools have reopened again and you have to learn to get out of the habit of studying from home.
But unless you live close to the campus, making it to class on time is a classic example of the daily battle against tardiness. Since others, including employers, will be expecting you to be on time for the rest of your adult life, it’s worth putting in the extra effort to learn punctuality while you’re still in school.
That said, learning to be punctual means changing deeply entrenched patterns of behavior. So don’t give up if you fail to succeed at first. Try using these seven practical tips to help you be on time until you succeed.
1) Adopt a New Mindset
First and foremost, remind yourself of the benefits of being on time: less stress, less embarrassment, being viewed as reliable and diligent, and less confusion in class over topics you might have missed. Being on time will improve the way others see you and the way you feel about yourself. It will also save you the time and hassle of having to catch up later.
2) Plan in Advance
Decide what you’re going to wear the night before. You can even lay out your clothes so you can easily see them in your semi-comatose state the next morning. Decide what you’re going to have for breakfast or plan out your route if you’re going to grab a bite on your way.
If you don’t have time for either, you can always grab some quick and healthy snacks to ease the pressure on your busy student life.
3) Pack Ahead
Don’t leave the job of packing your bag and searching for your cell phone to the last minute. Pack your lunch, textbooks, or whatever else you need the night before and have them ready to go beside the door.
Organizing your dorm properly can be a great way to access everything you need without wasting time searching for them.
4) Leave Time for Delays
If you have to travel a certain distance to arrive at a designated time, leaving yourself just enough time usually never works. Delays due to construction, accidents, or weather can come up. Calculate your normal travel time, then add 15-20 minutes so you can compensate for unforeseeable delays and be on time.
5) Set the Clock Ahead
Some people swear by this method, although it doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re always looking at the clock, hoping you’ve still got a few more minutes, try setting it ahead by 5 or 10 minutes to trick yourself into getting out the door earlier. However, once you start telling yourself, “that clock’s fast”, the gag is over!
6) Set Reminder For Essential Tasks
This could be for anything – from finishing your reading list to ticking off that laundry list – setting reminders for every task at hand will ensure you don’t leave it to the last minute. The result? You don’t have to cram everything in right before leaving for school, which means you can be on time easily.
7) Go to Bed on Time
If you’re usually late because you sleep in too long, try going to bed early when you know you have to be in class the next morning. Going to bed at the same time each night helps your body get into a routine, making it easier to get up at the same time each morning. Besides, they say sleeping in isn’t good for you anyway, so you might as well straighten that routine out.
Asking others for suggestions, especially those you envy for their seemingly effortless punctuality, can give you ideas on how to improve. If you’ve already made progress in being on time, reward yourself! A little commendation can go a long way in the battle against being late.