Summary: Every morning, set alarms to start getting to [some place]. Double your intuitive estimate for how it would take. Make it a rule to lose $5 every time you do come late.
I’ve been known as “the guy that always comes late”.
Once I tried traveling to school by bike, estimating it to take 50 minutes. In reality, it took about 70 minutes and I would be stressed all morning, coming 20 minutes late.
I repeated this 14 times in a row. Thinking it would take 50 minutes every time.
Now it’s the exact opposite. I haven’t been late a single time for 80 days (a big accomplishment for me), and I’m usually at least 5 minutes early.
I used a method that tackled the things that made me come late, which were:
If you have the same reasons for being late, this method will probably work for you too. It’s based on science from the books The Procrastination Equation and The Power of Habit.
Every morning while I make my to-do list I check if I need to be anywhere at specific times. Then I set alarms to start getting there on my phone. When the alarm rings, I must start getting to that place.
The best way I’ve found to establish new habits is by making use of habit stacking. Here’s how to do it:
Here’s the method I use, which I’ve found to be ±10 minutes accurate. Add:
If you don’t like my method, you can also multiply your best guess by 2. While you think this would be excessive, I usually just come 5 minutes early.
There is one more method that is more accurate than either of these, but is too time consuming to do once a day. It’s called Reference Class Analysis, and if you want to learn more I suggest ClearerThinkings free course.
Specify a threatening amount of money you’ll lose every time you come late. I’ll lose $5 if I ever come late.
If you have extra problems with procrastination, you can also make yourself lose $5 if you don’t start preparing immediately when the alarm rings. It makes you unable to say “Just 1 more minute”, because it’ll immediately result in you losing $5.
That’s it. Establish a habit of setting alarms, do a good time estimate and create a commitment contract. Good luck! 🙂