Confront your magical thinking with cold, hard facts
Spend a week timing your daily tasks – what time-management consultant DeLonzor calls ‘relearning to tell time’. Once you know how long it really takes to shower, get the kids dressed and feed the dog, you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
Always plan to arrive early, factoring 15 extra minutes into every trip
Chances are you’ll end up on time; in the worst-case scenario, you’ll have a few minutes to relax, get a drink of water and fix your hair. Like Carrie Hall (38), a teacher, late people often view time spent waiting as time wasted. But if you carry a book, knitting or your cellphone, you can use a few extra minutes productively.
Have a strategy for each day
‘A lot of people with time-management issues don’t have a clear sense of how their day is going to pan out,’ says DeLonzor. So make a list, with your revamped time estimates written next to each item. Then you’ll be able to tell whether you’ve scheduled 30 hours’ worth of activity into a 24-hour day.
In case you think your problem is incurable, take inspiration from Hall. ‘Two years ago, I started teaching, and you can’t be late for that job – not even by five minutes, which I never even counted as “late” before.’ By planning to arrive a half hour early, she has licked her time problem in one significant area of her life – and saved her job.