You Need These Punctuality Life Hacks


Is punctuality important to you?

Do you usually succeed at being punctual?

Studies show that people who are generally punctual are more successful. I think consistency is the key. Being on time “some of the time” doesn’t make the impression that you are serious, trust-worthy or committed. As Dan Kennedy, author of No B.S. Time, Management for Entrepreneurs, “Someone who cannot keep appointments on time, cannot keep scheduled commitments and cannot stick to a schedule should not be trusted.”

If you are often late for work, what does that say about you to others? I bet they question your commitment. If you make people wait, because of your lateness, how does that make them feel?

How can you change your mind-set and start keeping appointments by arriving on time?  Here are five suggestions:

  1. Commit to arriving on time.
  2. Plan to be early.
  3. Write it on your planner.
  4. Allow for traffic.
  5. Schedule more time than you think.

You can develop the punctuality habit with effort and practice.

For more time management tips, read:

How to Use Your Sunday to Start the Week Off Great, where you’ll get 7 tips to plan your week on Sunday.

The Secrets to Setting Healthy Boundaries, where you’ll learn four helpful secrets that will make your life easier.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Seana Turner on February 22, 2021 at 6:42 am

    You and I are on the same track this week. Time pressure is on our minds! Being punctual is so important. It can leaving either a lasting positive or negative taste in peoples’ mouths, so it really is worth the effort to be as punctual as possible!

    • Janet Schiesl on February 22, 2021 at 3:10 pm

      Seana, I so agree with you. With the changes to society during the pandemic I think people have gotten complacent and need a refresher. Being on time is so important.

  2. Ronni Eisenberg on February 22, 2021 at 9:13 am

    Dan Kennedy’s statement is harsh, though there is some truth to it. I recall a mentor of mine saying that being on time is a powerful statement. I agree with that.
    There’s nothing worse than meeting with a group of people at a restaurant, waiting for a friend who is running 20 minutes late, again, and the hostess won’t seat the group until everyone has arrived. (She then arrives with a million excuses.)
    I like the idea of plan to be early. It’s a mind shift that works.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 22, 2021 at 3:12 pm

      HA HA! Ronni, I have a sister who fits your description. I love her just the same but the family joke is do ask her to bring an appetizer for dinner.

  3. Linda Samuels on February 22, 2021 at 10:48 am

    One of the things that help me is using a timer. This way, I can focus intently and know the chime will alert me when I need to wrap up and transition to the next appointment, commitment, or project. I also recognize that not everyone sees the value of being on time. Does it mean they can’t be trusted, as Kennedy states? As Ronni mentioned, that seems harsh.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 22, 2021 at 3:14 pm

      I have adopted the idea of leaving with more than enough time to get to an appointment. That way, if I’m early I can read of check email or social media, or in nice weather take a walk. I love this little gift of time for myself and I don’t feel rushed.

  4. Diane N Quintana on February 22, 2021 at 11:43 am

    I’ve taken to using my Alexa to help me keep track of time. I decide how much time I’m going to spend in front of my computer before getting up and taking a break. I tell Alexa to set an alarm for x many minutes. When the alarm goes off I get up and do something else. This keeps me on track. I also set this sort of alarm about 15 minutes before I have to leave the house for an appointment. I am one of those people who is always on time. If I’m late, you know something is wrong.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 22, 2021 at 3:17 pm

      I recently got a stand up desk and have found that I regulate how much time I spend on any one task by standing up. It’s easier for me to focus when I’m standing, but I can’t stand still for too long. So when I want to sit down I move to a different task.

  5. Julie Bestry on February 22, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Being on time shows respect. Acknowledging with grace that it’s possible to show respect and still be stymied in the end by the vagaries and whims of fate is also showing respect. (Ever leave the house with thirty minutes of buffer for a 30 minute ride but get stuck behind an accident that immobilizes you for an hour? Oy.) I’m not quite as harsh as I used to be about people being late, especially chronically late, now that I understand why so many people have temporal dysfunctions. (Sounds like something from Doctor Who!) I always plan lots of buffer time, leave early to ensure arriving early/on time, and can’t think of the last time I was more than two or three minutes late (after circling for non-existent parking spaces)…but that was back in the days when we actually left our houses! But I am trying to be more understanding of people who have trouble judging time.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 22, 2021 at 3:22 pm

      Things sure have changed Julie. That is one thing I enjoy lately. Traveling down into DC, it’s a much easier commute and finding a parking space is easy as well. It used to make my a bit anxious when I had to go downtown. I do like to give myself a cushion of time between appointments.

  6. Neena on February 23, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Hi Janet,
    It’s so true – punctuality (or lack thereof) sends a message about you to the people you deal with. It can make a difference in both business and personal situations. No one likes to be kept waiting.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 23, 2021 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks Neena. I agree. Being punctual shows respect for others.

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