15 Minutes Late to Everything? This Neuroscientist's 3 Hacks Can Sort You Out

Claudia Canavan
Photo credit: Paul Simcock - Getty Images

From Women's Health

Wondering how to stop being late? We feel you.

Running headlong into your next meeting like a demented budgie with a decent sweat on is no one's idea of a good time – and serves only to spike your stress symptoms and, sometimes, piss other people off.

But if you feel like you're pathologically unable to be punctual, then there are steps you can take to sort it out.

Here, neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart, author of The Source: Open Your Mind, Change Your Life, shares her secrets. Make your life less cortisol, more chill.

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How to stop being late forever: 3 expert tips

1/ Observe

Note down (in a journal or a habit-checking app) every time you’re late for an appointment. What was the reason? How did it make you feel at the time? How did it impact the rest of your day?

2/ Replace

Simply saying that you don’t want to be late isn’t strong enough to make your brain break out of autopilot.

What feeling can you attach to being on time?

Why do you really want it? It could be that you’re sick of feeling guilty or injecting unnecessary panic into your day.

3/ Reinforce

Build in practices to support your new habit. Distil your personal and authentic motivation for change into a mantra, such as:

‘I’ll arrive in plenty of time, refreshed and ready for my meeting,’ and repeat when your default urge is to stay in bed a little longer.

Try making a 15-minute buffer before appointments a non-negotiable part of your routine and log how this extra space makes you feel.