The first step toward timeliness, says DeLonzor, is self-awareness. Sit down and go over your history and patterns. Are you late to everything or just some things? How do you feel when you’re late? What causes you to run behind?
Watch yourself carefully to identify what is actually making you late. Producers often schedule more tasks, chores, and appointments than they can get done in a day (without a Star Trek transporter and a time machine). Perhaps you suffer from what Morgenstern calls the One More Task Syndrome. “I think this is a technical fix for a psychologically-driven behavior. You feel you have to be productive, so you shove one more thing in before you have to leave,” she says. DeLonzor says many late people — including herself — have an aversion to leaving the house, and suddenly feel the need to straighten the blinds or open the mail when they should be heading out the door. To combat this she uses a mantra of sorts: “When I catch myself doing this, I’ll snap or clap and say ‘This can wait.’”
Transforming yourself from chronically late to perfectly punctual is a big task. Wallin says it is important to make deadlines non-negotiable, “like a promise to yourself.” Start with something easily attainable, like vowing not to hit snooze tomorrow — not even once. “If you can't commit to a small inconvenience like that," she cautions, "you are not ready to tackle your chronic lateness.” Before jumping in, try an experiment: Get somewhere on time. Just once. Just to see how it feels. Note your reaction. Are you relieved or anxious? Proud or bored as hell? Then work your way up from there.