“Busy” has been your middle name lately. Between jumpstarting your week with quick and easy full-body workouts, going on BFF dates and keeping up your athlete-level confidence at work, it can sometimes be hard to be punctual. Or, let’s be real, not be more than ten minutes late. Fear not. We’ve gathered eight smart strategies from busy professional dietitians, organizers and fitness coaches who have learned how to balance a busy social agenda with demanding careers. Read below, and get ready to never be late again.
1. Grocery shop on the weekends. “Plan your meals, make a grocery list and shop on Sunday for the entire week. That way you won’t be slowed down during the rest of the week by having to stop and get food or plan what to eat,” suggests the dietitians behind the Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames.
2. Add a buffer to your commute time. Folks who are always punctual swear by this rule: “Calculate the time it takes to get ready and drive to the location, allowing for traffic. Then add an extra 15 minutes to your estimate,” says celebrity dietician and nutritionist Lisa DeFazio. “Start getting ready based on the time you predicted with the 15-minute padding zone; if you have to be somewhere at noon and the drive time is one hour and getting ready takes one hour, you’ll want to start getting ready at 9:45am.”
3. Be a directions whiz. If you’ve got somewhere important to be, like a job interview or a parent-teacher conference, prepare ahead of time. “Look up directions the day before, review them and make sure you know how to get there,” says DeFazio. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with a construction zone or closed road you’ll want to avoid and knowing your Plan B could be the difference between showing up to a job interview with ten minutes to spare and being embarrassingly late. “Email the directions to yourself or print them out. You don’t want the stress of getting lost before an appointment!”
4. Embrace saying “no.” A powerful but important lesson from all folks who have mastered time management is to stop automatically saying “yes.” “I have a habit of answering every request with, ‘Thank you for thinking of me, I need to check my calendar before I give you an answer.’ This saves me from my inner people-pleaser that wants to say yes to everything because it sounds fun. [This helps me be] prepared and fully present for my students, my clients and those I interact with on a daily basis,” says Alyssa Tracy, yoga instructor at TruFusion in Las Vegas. And after all, what could be more important than being present and energized when you’re surrounded by the people that matter to you most?
5. Trick yourself. “If you know you’re constantly running 10 minutes late, schedule events on your calendar for 10 minutes before they actually happen,” suggests Sarah Stimson, a certified professional organizer in New York City. “Coffee with a friend at 11am? Now you’re meeting her at 10:50am. Go!”
6. Plan your outfit. “Decide what you’re wearing the next day, the night before,” says celebrity nutritionist Lisa De Fazio, who certainly has had to master the fine art of staying on time between TV appearances and coaching countless clients. Lay out your outfit in an easy-to-reach place and you’ll be surprised how much time you shave off of your morning routine when you don’t have to search for your fave black blouse or coordinate accessories.
7. Prep breakfast the night before. A yummy idea for a make-ahead breakfast that you can just grab and go in the morning: muesli made with your favorite Greek yogurt, fruit and rolled oats. Mix the ingredients together and stick in the fridge. It’s a great, energizing combo of fiber and protein that’ll keep you satisfied and focused. If you’re making a smoothie, prep all the ingredients in advance so you’re ready to go in the AM.
8. Know thy keys. But really, though. “Keep your keys in the same spot to eliminate last minute panic attacks,” says Lauren Makk, co-host of ABC’s FABLife, interior designer and home expert. Ditto for glasses, cell phones and sunnies. Lost minutes will magically infuse themselves into your days.
What’s your favorite tip for being on time? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)