I’m leaving in 10 minutes … no really, this time I mean it.

Are you one of those people that’s always about 15 minutes late? Yeah, me too. (o.k., sometimes 30).

I am not late for work, meetings, yoga or flights (anymore), but when it comes to lunch/dinner plans (etc.), I tend to find myself running a little late, no matter how good my intention is to be on time. Not cool, I know.

Yesterday I decided I was going to stop being late. Done. But how?

Here’s my new thing … As soon as I got off the phone with my friend last night, after saying the typical, “I’m leaving in 10 minutes“, I turned on the timer on my iPhone and set it for 10 minutes. I made sure that I chose the most annoying sound as the alarm (which so happens to be “alarm”) so I never want to hear it … hence encouraging me to get out the door ASAP and turn it off before the time is up.

This did three things for me: 

  • It made me realize that 10 minutes is a lot shorter than I thought (and I need to really be honest about when I can actually leave next time).
  • Kept me on target for the task at hand (getting out the door).
  • Made me leave exactly when I said I would (amazing).

Yes, we are all human and we all have patterns that we need to break, and why not make a game out of it? Your friends will certainly appreciate it, you get to keep them, and you will stop being that annoying friend that’s always late. No one really wants to be that person, so for your own sake and out of respect for the people you care about, try this. It’s actually fun.

Once the pattern is broken, you won’t need this “game” anymore, but during the process, you may learn about your concept of time … and it may be much different than you think.

Gotta go. My alarm just went off. Seriously. Good luck!