In 2010, the CBS Sunday Morning news show highlighted procrastination in America. The program focused on people who put off important projects, rarely get around to doing the things they want to do, and who are chronically late for everything. The segment about those who are always and forever late brought out the defense in a lot of folks.
Diana DeLonzer, quoted in the CBS piece, is the author of the book, Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged. She places chronic latecomers into categories. These categories appear to be related to personalities, giving each type of person their own reason — or excuse — for constant tardiness. Some confessed that chronic lateness was simply a bad habit, while others realized that being late can be a bit of an adrenaline rush.
Being a parent certainly presents a special challenge to consistently getting places on time, but it can be done. DeLonzer counsels people to do things like setting clocks fast and planning to be at functions fifteen minutes early. If punctuality isn’t one of your strong points, these tips may also help your family get out the door on time. Bringing up your children to do the same will help them develop a habit of being punctual.
1. Get stuff ready the night before. Pick out clothes, take showers, make lunches, and store them — lunchbox and all — into the refrigerator.
2. Put needed items in the car.. Also the night before: place school papers, book bags, diaper bags, or whatever else you and your children need in the car. In the morning, it’s all ready to go.
3. Count backward. Figure out about how much time you and your children will need for getting dressed, eating breakfast, and getting out the door, then set alarm clocks accordingly — allowing for a few extra minutes.
4. Focus on the time you need to be out the door, NOT the time you’re due at your destination.
5. Remember the time you will need to get in the door. Even if you’re technically at your destination “on time,” it can take several minutes to get children in and out of car seats, set up strollers, etc. If you’re due to be in class, at a job, or in a meeting at 8:30, and you’re still in the parking lot at that time, you’re late.
6. Alleviate concerns about wasting time. Keep books, magazines, or mail in the car that you need to read or go through.
Do you have tips for staying on time with kids? Share in the comments section.