Being punctual has so many benefits.
Generally speaking, punctual people have better friendships and relationships. They are even more respected at work (and more likely to progress in their careers).
Tardiness is an all-around unattractive trait, regardless of whether you’re someone’s employer, friend, or partner.
So how exactly does one make punctuality second nature?
Let’s take a look at these 10 habits of people who are always punctual and never late.
1) They check in days before
Punctual people are always planning ahead. They don’t leave anything to the last minute. That includes making sure your plans are going ahead.
If you’ve got plans booked in, they check in days (at the very least) before the event to make sure it’s still going ahead.
2) They don’t rely on their memory
The older you get, the busier life gets. Things are always getting planned weeks, months, and sometimes years, in advance.
Whether that be a wedding, family dinner, or just a coffee with a friend. When they make plans, they don’t rely on their memory to know when it’s happening and where.
They immediately write it in their calendar or diary so they never forget or double-book themselves.
They even do it with their “life admin” tasks and dates to remember.
For example, if their car insurance is due in the next few months, they have a reminder in their diary to look at quotes soon.
Or if they meet someone new, like a sibling’s partner, they make a note of the person’s birthday in their calendar, so they never forget.
3) They get enough sleep
It’s hard to stay motivated, disciplined, and organized when you’re running on empty.
To wake up on time, jump out of bed, and get ready at anything other than a groggy, snail’s pace, you need to be well-rested.
That’s why punctual people prioritize their sleep and get enough of it every night (experts at CDC recommend between 7 to 9 hours for adults), no matter what.
Even if they’re loving staying up late reading their book or having dinner with a friend, they know that a lack of sleep impacts their daily life in ways they dislike.
This is also why they can do the next thing…
4) They wake up on time
Another habit of a punctual person is that they wake up on time, every day, without fail.
This applies no matter where they’re going, whether it’s to work, the airport, or simply meeting a friend for a morning coffee.
For punctual people, snoozing an alarm when they need to get out of bed is sacrilegious. The snooze button is non-existent.
On the rare occasion they do snooze, it’s just the once. They never oversleep and they never give themselves “just five more minutes”.
5) They leave earlier than they need to
Punctual people are punctual for a reason. They always give themselves more time than they need.
If it takes 10 minutes to drive somewhere, they give themselves 20. If the subway is due to arrive at 5 pm, they get to the station at 4.45 pm.
They “just in case” everything to make sure they’re on time. Like “just in case” there’s traffic. Or “just in case” the subway arrives early.
They always build in some buffer time when planning when to leave, too. So, even when they’re late, they’re still early. Or right on time, as usual.
6) They assess how long things take
People who are never late know exactly how long it takes to do things. From showering and washing their hair to driving to where they need to go.
They give themselves realistic timings to do everything they need to do. They don’t scrimp or plan to do things faster than usual.
If anything, they give themselves more time than they need, even for the most basic tasks, when they know they need to go somewhere.
7) They plan ahead
As expected, punctual people plan ahead. It’s the main reason they’re always on time!
They plan everything well in advance, from making sure the subway is running on the day of travel, to double-checking the fine print on their tickets.
Everything they do is booked in advance. And being organized is second nature to them.
Put simply, they can’t relax about an upcoming event unless everything (and everyone!) is planned to a T.
8) They create schedules for everything
Punctual people have a schedule for everything they do in life. They rarely “go with the flow” or “change things up” (unless it’s part of a structured plan).
Instead, they have a clear plan of all the tasks they need to do before they go to work or do any other routine thing in life.
In the morning before work, they have a set routine for when they wake up, in what order they get ready, and at what time they leave.
They rarely veer off schedule unless they plan to do so. Like if they want to start going to the gym in the morning. Or if they want to walk a different route to work.
It’s all part of a plan and the times they are spontaneous are scarce.
9) They plan outfits ahead of time
No person that’s always on time ever leaves their outfit to the last minute. Punctual people plan their outfits way ahead of time.
If they’re going to a wedding next month, they’ve already ordered their dress or suit on next-day delivery. If they’ve got an interview in two weeks, their new blouse is already washed and ironed ready to wear.
The same applies to everyday outfits. If they’re going out on the weekend, they’re already checking in with friends about what everyone is wearing so they know too.
For work, they’re always thinking about outfits for the week, sometimes even going as far as laying out clothes the night before.
10) They practice discipline daily
All of the points on this list show one overarching thing: being on time all the time requires discipline. To get to work on time every day, you need to get out of bed when your alarm sounds, no matter how comfortable it feels.
There are no “five more minutes” or “I’ll just do this task quickly instead” thoughts.
Punctual people sacrifice what needs to be sacrificed to ensure they get to their events early or on time.
Organized people extend this discipline to all kinds of things in life.
For example, they might stop watching their TV show when it’s getting late, even though they want to continue, because they know they need their sleep.
Or they might head home earlier than they’d like to from a night out. Just so they can catch the last train and avoid having to fork out fortunes for a taxi later.
Becoming a punctual person who’s never (ever) late for anything doesn’t happen overnight.
People with punctuality have very specific habits and traits that they practice daily to become the organized, put-together people they are.
However, a person who’s always late can become a punctual person over time. Building habits (according to Healthline) takes 66 days, on average.
Practicing some of these habits of punctual people can lead to a better, fuller, happier, and, potentially even, healthier lifestyle.
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