Do you find yourself running late to appointments and meetings? Wondering how you can successfully get a grasp on your time and schedule?

Here are eight ways to help you arrive on time for appointments, every time.

1. Make a list of items you’ll need for regular appointments.

Do you waste time every week trying to think of all the different items you’ll need to bring with you for a recurring appointment? Save time by writing out a list of all the different items you’ll need to pack. If you’re meeting your personal trainer at the gym, you might list workout clothes, sneakers, towel, water bottle, gym membership card, and gym bag. Drop this list into your calendar for easy reference.

2. Pack your bag a few hours in advance.

Your mind is super-busy and occupied when it comes to leaving on time for appointments. Instead of waiting until the last minute to pack up your belongings, start early and pack things up a couple of hours in advance when your mind is still cool, calm and collected. Of course, you might not be able pack everything all at once, but you can rest a little easier knowing a good chunk of your packing is already completed.

3. Stop multi-tasking before leaving for an appointment.

Do you check email, text, watch TV and play with your pets as you get ready to leave for your appointment? Declare a ban on multi-tasking and focus your efforts on getting ready to leave and only getting ready to leave.

4. Get out of the habit of doing “just one more thing” as you’re getting ready to leave.

Stop! Back away from that stack of papers that needs to be filed and that pile of laundry that needs to be folded. Just like multi-tasking, starting “just one” new task as you’re getting ready to leave for an appointment is disruptive to your schedule and often takes over your initial goal of leaving on time. The next time you feel yourself reaching to complete an extra task, stop, take a deep breath, and fix your mind on getting yourself and your belongings ready for your meeting.

5. Don’t schedule back-to-back appointments.

Scheduling appointments back-to-back is a recipe for lateness. If any one of your appointments runs late or is delayed, you’ll be behind schedule and will have to make up for lost time.

6. Schedule travel time in your calendar.

Penciling travel time into your calendar makes it crystal clear as to when you need to stop your work, pack up, and hit the road. Once you start dropping travel time into your calendar, you’ll become more and more aware of how much time you actually need to get from point A to point B.

7. Create a time buffer for yourself.

Going from appointment to appointment can be fraught with travel delays, communication snafus and other headaches. Make things more comfortable for yourself by adding a buffer of more time in addition to your travel time. At the very least, you’ll have enough time to arrive at your destination and get settled in comfort, and if you do find yourself running a bit later than usual, you’ll have this buffer of time to cover any unforeseen delays.

8. Plan to catch a specific train, bus, ferry, plane, etc.

Don’t expect there to be a public transportation connection when you need it! If you’re not careful about how you plan your travel, you might arrive thirty seconds too late for a bus that would have taken you to your destination on time. Check schedules online, download a transit app on your phone, or simply pick up a schedule booklet.

What time management tip are you going to use to arrive on time for appointments? Leave a comment below.

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Featured photo credit: Chris JL via photopin cc

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