Easy Skills to Help You Manage Your Time Better and Eliminate Being Late


Everyone with a pet peeve, raise your hand. I know I can’t see you, but I know there are hands everywhere. If I had more than two, they’d be in the air, too. I have a list of pet peeves so long it’s amazing that I find anything to smile about during the day. This probably also explains why I dislike most people, prefer to be home than anywhere else and the fact that I am so happy when I’m not with other people. That’s neither here nor here, however. The point is that we all have some pet peeves, and mine happens to include punctuality. More precisely, mine includes people who cannot seem to find it in their capabilities to be on time.

Not early. Not late; on time. Being on time is not that difficult. It’s not always easy, but it’s really not that difficult. To be fair, I don’t even mind when someone is a few minutes late. I get that things happen, life is in the way and people seem to have forgotten how to drive – I’d rather you be safe than sorry, after all. But get something straight; if you are going to be late, you better let me know the second you don’t leave the house in time to get where you are supposed to be – not when you’re already supposed to be there.

Since so many people seem to have forgotten the art of simply being on time, I thought perhaps we might do a little bit of list-making, reminding and gentle admonishing. Your grandmother would not appreciate your habit of being late when it’s considered rude and careless. It tells the person you’re supposed to see that not only do you not value their time and busy schedule, you don’t value them as a person. Let’s lose that issue by being on time; and I’ll share with you the traits that successfully allow you to manage your time, every time, all the time.

Have a plan

I have four small kids. One can dress herself completely without question. One can dress herself, but she usually finds a way to get herself stuck in something in some way and requires some assistance. Two are two and cannot do anything other than wave their shoes in my face in excitement because they know we are going somewhere (or they think they are when they see me getting ready).

I have to have a plan or I will never make it out of the house. I know that if I make myself a plan, I can be out of the house at a certain time and never have to stress about being late. I know that if we need to leave the house by 8 am, I need to dress the twins by 7:20, the girls need to be dressed by 7:30, hair needs to be done by 7:40 and we need to be picking up our messes and gathering cups and other items they have to have in the car with them right this second while I get myself dressed so that we can be in the car by 7:50. I then open the garage, turn the car on, turn the DVD player on, lock the kids in their seats, grab my bag and run around shutting off lights and televisions so that I can be in the car within 2 minutes.

Now I have a few additional minutes to get things situated in the car and to run back in the house the second someone tells me they have to have something else right this second or they will just cry and cry and cry. A plan is what you need.

Get up early

I like to look good when I leave the house and when I’m at home. I wake up at 5 am so that I can shower, blow dry my hair, put on my make-up, get dressed and work for a bit. Now I’m ready before anyone is even awake, and that makes it so much easier to get out the door.

Do everything in advance

If you can do something in advance, do it. If you can pack a diaper bag in advance and not have to worry about this as you’re running out the door, do it. If you can lay out clothes long before it’s time to leave, do it. Anything you can do in advance, do. It helps time management in the most amazing way.

Eliminate needless items

Do you have to check your email before you leave the house in the mornings, or can you do it later? Do you need to do the laundry before you leave, or will it be fine to wash when you get home? When you can eliminate the needless items that you have to do each and every day before you leave, you can find more time.

But remember…

If you are going to be late, and it’s something that happens to all of us at some point, let people know in advance. Don’t wait until you are already late. Be courteous and let them know in advance. And for the love of all things good in life, please do not show up early. I know that nothing irritates me more than when we have guests coming over at a certain time and they show up 45, 40, 20, 10 minutes early. I’m not ready, I’m already feeling rushed and it’s rude.

Be courteous about your time management, and try to be on time but not early and not too late on a regular basis. It’s the way to live a polite lifestyle.


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