Being on time or early cures a whole lot of ills, don’t you agree?

I have been traveling a lot (partly why I haven’t been writing my head off for Life Hack lately, sorry), and so I’m faced with that wonderful US Airport experience of the TSA security process. Don’t get me wrong: I’m thankful that someone out there thinks my removing my belt will keep more planes in the air. I’m grateful that I get to demonstrate the functionality of my laptop, video camera, MP3 recorder, digital camera, and iPod every time they look at my “target rich” bag. But boy, this sure takes time.

Get to the airport early. Problem solved. It’s annoying, but you don’t miss a flight over it. Right?

If you have a big meeting or event in New York City at 7PM, why would you plan a flight that gets you to the city at 5PM? One tiny delay and you’re just *asking* to miss the event. This happened to a friend of mine Thursday night, and another friend had a really bad experience with that a few weeks ago, one that might’ve cost him some startup money.

Go early.

What I think happens is this: people believe they’ve allotted enough time to arrive at a destination. However, they are planning that EVERYTHING between their departure and their arrival will work reasonably well, and be timely. If you drive your car, traffic is an issue. If you take public transportation, you’re at the whims of a living, breathing, imperfect infrastructure. If you’re on foot, you never know what will get in the way of your experience. You can’t just allot for travel time. You have to build in “oh God, a MONSTER just broke through the crust of the earth time” to go with it.

Think of all the experiences you’ve had with being late over the last month. Were there circumstances YOU could have controlled better? What might the outcome have been? Is there a reason you like rushing around last minute instead?

–Chris Brogan is community developer for Network2. He is working on a big conference event called Video on the Net. He loves to hack life.

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