Formula to be On Time Without Stress

Key concept: Think Backwards!
Why do we care about being on time? It enables you to

  • Be considerate of others, and build relationships
  • Boost your self-esteem (no more lame apologies)
  • Earn the respect of others
  • Avoid missing important information
  • Reduce stress (no more knots in the stomach when you know you are late)

To work the formula, ask yourself for realistic answers to these questions:
When do you want to arrive?( 5-15 minutes early is usually a good plan)

Arrival time: _______________

How long will it take to get there?

  • You may want to check driving directions, Maps, etc.
  • Be realistic and allow extra time in case of rush hour, construction, train, etc.
  • You won’t have to worry about speeding.

Travel time _________________

What do you need to do before you leave?

  • Gather supplies and put with keys near door (Do this as far ahead as possible. Don’t wait until you are ready to leave.)
  • Get dressed, check hair, etc.
  • Need raincoat, umbrella, sunglasses, sweater, etc.?
  • Reading material if you want to make use of early arrival time, unexpected traffic delays, or having to wait for an appointment.

Prep time: ________________

Stops on the way

  • Need gas?
  • Need to pick up someone ?
  • Convenient errand while you are in the area?

Errand time: ________________

Allow cushion time for the unknown (forgetting something and having to go back, unexpected important phone call, traffic delays, etc.

Cushion for peace of mind and to avoid stress: ____________
Think backwards!

Always think in terms of the time to start getting ready and departure time, not when you are supposed to be there! If you work toward your departure time, even if you run a little late, you can still be on time.

Example of Formula for being on time.

Appointment time   7:00 pm
Arrival time      -10 minutes =  6:50 pm
Travel time       -30 minutes =  6:20 pm
Errand time       -10 minutes =  6:10 pm =DEPARTURE TIME
Prep time           -30 minutes =   5:40 pm
Extra time         -10 minutes =   5:30 pm =TIME TO START GETTING READY

Set a timer,  or an alarm in your mobile phone, PDa, or computer*  to free your mind to focus, knowing you’ll be reminded when it is time to get going!  

*There’s a great, FREE (and incessant) computer alarm available at Click on Software (top), then Alarm Clock (on left), then download (near bottom).

Enjoy feeling confident and relaxed by being on time. You are to control, and can eliminate needless anxiety by being realistic and pro-active.

You have just enhanced your quality of Life!


nancyNancy Hagan, Effective Executive LLC, works with business leaders who want to be more effective and productive, and focus on their highest priorities. Please contact Nancy at or (513) 899-9949. For information about workshops and other services, visit