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How to Avoid Running Late

It is important to remember that effective time management is one of the major keys to success at college. Especially for those of you living on campus, it is very easy to procrastinate or get distracted, which could end up resulting in trouble with your grades! 

Running late is something that happens to all of us, but if it is a chronic problem for you, consider using some or all of these tips to help you stay on time and on schedule.

  1. Always arrive 15 minutes early. While it may seem like a lot of extra time, if you plan to arrive early to a meeting or class and there is increased traffic or bad weather, you have enough of a window to still make it on time. Remember the mantra: If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re forgotten! When driving to a new location, use tools like Google Maps to accurately estimate the amount of time it will take for you to get there. Always add 20% to that total time for traffic, parking, and unexpected events, and you should arrive safely on time.
  2. Set two alarms. One should go off 5 minutes before you need to leave, and one should go off at the time you need to leave. Do your best to leave between those two alarms!
  3. Be prepared! If you suffer from “can’t-find-it-itis" then arrange everything you need well ahead of time. Put the clothing you plan on wearing out on your bed right when you get up in the morning (or even before you go to bed!). Keep a cubby by the door with everything you need to leave, including your car keys, backpack, wallet/purse, books for the day, lunch, etc. Make sure you have the address of the location and/or phone number of the person you are meeting with so if anything happens, you are able to contact them and let them know you are running late. Organization will set you free!
  4. Imagine failure and success. What happens if you are late? Imagine what the person you are meeting is going to think about you. What emotions will they feel? Now think about what happens if you are early (and therefore, on time). Imagine the smile you will receive for being adequately prepared and on time for your meeting!

If you are worried about being bored when you arrive early, bring along some homework you need to do, or a magazine to read. Having something you need to do with you at all times will also help with your time management, as all of those little blocks of time add up quickly.

Information obtained from: Novotni, M. Running Late? Adult ADD Time Management Tips.

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