Being on Time

How to be on time for meetings, appointments, and events.

Stever Robbins
3-minute read
Episode #71

Reader Ana wrote in:

No matter how early I get up I can never be not even early, but on time, to whatever I have to do. Is there a way I can change or am I doomed for life?

Ana, the quick and dirty tip is that you can learn to use mental timelines, alarm clocks, and friends to get places on time.

Our culture values punctuality. If you can never seem to get anywhere without sending out a frantic "I'm running late" text, this article is for you. 

How to Stop Being Late

Conventional wisdom says turn your clocks ahead so you think it’s later than it is. Then you’ll run late, but really be on time by everyone else’s watch. If you do this, you must commit totally. You must reprogram every electronic device in your house. And if your TV or computer gets its time from somewhere on the Internet, disconnect it or never, ever believe its clock. I do that with my digital scale. I step on it, it shows some silly number, and I shake my head indulgently. Silly scale. It couldn’t possibly be right.

Reset Your Clocks and Believe Them

Since you know you turned the clocks forward, you might start thinking, “I have extra time, because I know I turned my clock ahead.” Resist those thoughts! Bad! That’s like thinking the “E” on your gas gauge means, “you have 40 miles left.” Yes, it could be true. And yes, last night that thinking stranded me by the side of the road in heavy traffic, in a torrential downpour, as cars zipped by and knocked off the side view mirror. If you turn your clocks ahead, follow up by believing your clock blindly


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.