Five Secrets to Getting Places on Time

Professional organizer Janine Adams shares tips to avoid being late.

I’m a professional organizer, but I have to admit that I’m punctuality challenged. That’s a professional issue for me, because people rather expect their professional organizer to be on time for appointments.

Things are getting better. I’m not on time 100 percent of the time, but since I started employing some of these methods, my tardiness has decreased, along with my stress levels.

Plan your route. If your destination is unfamiliar, go online the night before to map out your route and see how long it’s going to take. (I love Google Maps for that.) Then you’ll know when you have to leave the house.

Make sure you have gas.
It’s really frustrating when you’re running late to realize you have to stop for gas. Keep en eye on your gas gauge so that doesn’t happen. Bonus: from a disaster preparedness standpoint, it’s very smart to not go below a half tank. That way you have gas to evacuate in an emergency.

Do as much as possible the night before. Make your mornings less stressful by doing what you can the night before to ease your exit. Lay out your clothes. Set the breakfast table. Make your lunch, if you take one. And by all means, make your kids’ lunches.

Pad it. When I try to figure out what time to get up in the morning in order to get where I need to go on time (since I see a variety of clients, that’s always variable), I think about all the things I have to do before leaving the house and estimate how long they’re going to take. Then I pad those time estimates to give myself a little breathing space. I even pad the departure time, so that if I’m running a bit late I’m not actually late.

Give yourself the gift of being early. If you plan to get to your destination 15 minutes early, you’ll probably never be late again. One of my problems is that I have a fear of being early; it seems like a waste of time. But I’m trying to change that notion and instead see being early as an opportunity to check email, read the newspaper (online or old school), read my favorite blogs, catch up on social media or even call a friend. It really can be a gift.

Janine Adams, a Certified Professional Organizer®, is owner of Peace of Mind Organizing® in St. Louis. She blogs regularly at her website and at

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