About 10 years ago, a study by San Francisco State University found that one out of five people is chronically late for business meetings and social engagements.
Interestingly, a reason for that is magical thinking, meaning those individuals usually underestimate how long a task will take them to complete based on an overly optimistic view of the past (maybe you drove to work in 20 minutes once, five years ago, but don’t forget all those other times it took you 30 minutes or more).
Here are the seven steps to cure tardiness as preached by experts like Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again:
1. Admit you have a problem - Don’t try to downplay your delays, even if they don’t affect other people.
2. Figure out why - Are you easily distracted, disorganized, self-centered or maybe addicted to the thrill of being late? Could it be because you procrastinate more or have trouble with self-control?
3. Get real about timing - Researchers at Cleveland State University found that people who tend to be late misjudge how fast time can fly. Time yourself when performing everyday tasks; you’ll be surprised.
4. Skip some tasks (especially the nonessential ones) - People who suffer from the “One More Task Syndrome” not only have a false sense of being productive, but are also more likely to be late. Every minute of the day doesn’t need to be scheduled for maximum efficiency.
5. Prepare your daily routine in advance - This is a great way to avoid last-minute dilemmas, like picking your clothes for the next morning.
6. Expect the worst and the unexpected - Never plan to be on time. Experts say you should plan to be everywhere 15 minutes early.
7. Be prepared to wait - Waiting time doesn't have to be wasted time. If you arrive at an appointment early, you can use those extra minutes to your advantage.