clock on blue wallWhy is it that some people seem to show up on time, all the time, while you're always rushing at the last minute no matter how hard you try? Although it may seem like punctual people possess some time-freezing superpower, they've actually just adopted simple habits that keep them one step ahead of the game. From preparing for the day in advance to setting-and sticking to-a daily timeline, learn how to adopt these five simple habits of punctual people. Photo credit: Thinkstock
1) They prepare for the worst-case scenario.
As long as you give yourself enough time to get out of bed, dressed and out the door, you'll be on time, right? Not necessarily. Anything can happen, and, barring events that are completely out of your control (such as a flat tire or cancelled flight), you should be prepared for unplanned delays. "If your car breaks down or your train is delayed, those are bona fide excuses," says Ellen Lubin-Sherman, personal branding coach and author of The Essentials of Fabulous. "But if I know, for instance, that I'm going to travel into the city, I always check how much gas I have. I always check my train tickets. My metro card is always full. I'm ready." In other words, you should prepare for typical time-zappers, such as bad traffic and stopping for gas. Fill up a day in advance and be sure to check for delays on your route via radio or a site such as Traffic.com. These are things you can account for ahead of time so that you're not late. "Everything should be well-thought out beforehand. Take time [to prepare] before you go someplace," Lubin-Sherman says.
See 10 easy ways to streamline your day.
2) They do everything they can do ahead of time.
Whether it's packing your lunch the night before, picking out your clothes or filling your coffee machine, doing as much as possible before bed will set you ahead of the game when you first wake up the next day. "Put your shoes by the door and your workout gear right by your bed so that in the morning when you're tired and groggy, you don't have to dig through your closet," recommends Debra Condren, PhD, business psychologist and author of Ambition is Not a Dirty Word. "You tell your kids to set their clothes out, but it works for you, too." So create a pre-bedtime routine each night when, before winding down, you can set yourself up for a smoother morning.
3) They don't abuse the snooze button.
There seem to be two kinds of people in the morning: those who get up right away, and those who drag their feet into the new day. Once the alarm goes off, Lubin-Sherman recommends getting up promptly to get ready. One way to kick the snooze button habit is to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, and create familiar routines for each. Dr. Condren says that having a ritual will help signal your brain when it's time for sleep or wakefulness. There's no need to make the routine elaborate; says Dr. Condren, "Maybe it's just opening a can of dog food and changing your dog's water first thing [in the morning]. Just do it every day," she says.
Get 10 morning workout motivators.
4) They follow a segmented timeline.
If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, map it out. "It's important to build at least 10 to 15 minutes into your morning to get your head in the game," says Dr. Condren. She recommends setting up mini deadlines for yourself. "Say, now OK, it's 7:15 a.m.; I've got to go for a 20-minute walk, then I have to be in the shower by 7:40, and I have to be out of the shower by 8 a.m." That way, you'll be able to keep better track of how you're doing time-wise and adjust your schedule if you're missing the mark.
5) They adopt an optimistic approach.
Chances are, when you're truly excited about something, you find it hard to sleep-and you're up and running well before your alarm clock goes off. Lubin-Sherman says that's often the way punctual people live every day. "People who are not positive are less punctual. People who are very excited about what they do tend to be very punctual," she says. And that doesn't have to mean every aspect of your life is always great-after all, nobody can avoid the occasional job- or family-related stress. However, no matter your situation, Dr. Condren says it's possible to start every day off on the right foot; "Take those first five to 10 minutes in the morning, when you're still groggy, and read a little quote or half a page of something inspirational," she says.
Boost your mood with 7 superfoods.
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
You Might Also Like:
9 Things Never to Say on a Job Interview
15 Keyboard Shortcuts You Probably Don't Know
8 Ways to Get Ahead at Work
10 Things Husbands Should Never Do
9 Fights to Have with Your Husband
Become a fan of Woman's Day on Facebook and Twitter.