4 Things You Must Know if You Want to Be On Time

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4 Things You Must Know if You Want to Be On TimeDo you want to arrive on time to your meeting and appointments?

Are you looking for some helpful guidelines when it comes to punctuality?   

The good news is that punctuality need not be a difficult subject.

You just need to learn a few key concepts about time management.

In this post, I offer four things you must know if you want to arrive on time to your meetings and appointments.


You must understand being on time means being early.

“Being on time” doesn’t mean arriving at a meeting or a lecture at the last possible minute.

If you want to be punctual, you should aim to arrive at your destination with ample time to spare.

Ideally, you should aim to arrive somewhere between five to fifteen minutes before your appointment is scheduled to begin. Why is this? Well, there’s several good reasons for this practical approach.

The first reason is that you want to have enough time in order to get settled in, unpack your belongings, collect your thoughts, and prepare yourself for whatever is to come. You can’t easily do this if you slide in at the last moment.

The second reason is that you want to be fully and completely ready to work, listen, contribute, or participate at your meeting or appointment. It’s a way to make the most of the time you have in your schedule; you’re fully engaged and ready to get things done.

And lastly, arriving on time means you won’t put someone in a difficult situation or create a distraction for others, be it a meeting organizer, colleagues, a client, friend, or family.

So, when it comes to being on time for that meeting or appointment, aim to arrive several minutes in advance.

You must avoid guessing the time.

If there’s one thing that will completely derail your efforts at being punctual, it is not knowing what time it is. There’s simply no room for guessing the time in the morning, afternoon, or evening…on any day of the week! This is especially the case in today’s world of cellphones, laptops, fitness trackers, and of course, watches; there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t know the time of day.

Punctuality relies on people paying attention to the clock and taking adequate action at the right time. This is especially difficult to do if you’re simply guessing at the time of day.

So, if you need to be at a 3 P.M. appointment and have to travel for at least a half hour, you should definitely pay close attention to the clock as it ticks closer and closer to 2 P.M. This might mean setting a few timers to go off and alert you. Eventually, you’ll want to put a temporary stop to your work or chores, so you pack up your belongings, and start out on your way.

You must regularly practice punctuality.

Punctuality is just like any other skill; it must be practiced on a regular basis. You can’t expect to make solid progress playing the piano only thirty minutes each week, nor can you expect to make marked progress in your time management skills with limited practice. If you want to be punctual, you must put in the time and take small, positive steps every day to help you succeed.

How can you practice punctuality on a daily basis? It’s all about paying attention to the little things. Aim to catch a specific bus, train, or subway on the way to or from work or school. Set a timer to remind yourself when it’s time to leave for an appointment. Or, review your calendar at the end of the day to locate difficult or challenging scheduling issues and familiarize yourself with tomorrow’s schedule.

You must know you cannot control the outside world.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to push a traffic jam out of the way, speed up a train, or prevent a fender bender from happening on the highway en route to an appointment. There are just somethings in this world that are completely outside of your control.

What you can do, however, is quite powerful in and of itself. You can control all of those things that will help you arrive on time to an appointment. This includes making sure you leave your home or office on time, stopping work at a reasonable hour, packing up your personal and professional belongings in advance, and taking the best travel route possible.

When you put high value on the things you can control, you set your intentions and end up taking those actions that will naturally help you to arrive on time. That’s a much better way of going about punctuality than just leaving things to chance, wouldn’t you agree?

How about you? Which of these four points resonates the most with you? Why? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.