Feature Archive

Help for the Chronically Late

Experts explain why the key to being on time is understanding why you're always late.

By Sherry Rauh
WebMD Feature

Reviewed ByBrunilda Nazario,MD

New York lingerie designer Carolyn Keating was thrilled to land a job interview with Victoria's Secret. She knew that being on time was essential to making a good impression, but there was just one problem. "I had written down the address wrong. I meant to check it the night before on the computer, but I didn't." When Keating finally arrived at the correct address, she was 30 minutes late. "I felt embarrassed and it really flustered me," she tells WebMD. "I carried that insecure, worried, flustered energy throughout the interview." She didn't get the job.

Another time, Keating and several friends showed up 15 minutes late to a colleague's wedding. "The bride was already at the alter. She was basically saying 'I do' when we tumbled in, and it's hard for six or seven people to tiptoe in quietly. We were worried that we ruined the most important day of her life."

For some people, being on time seems nearly impossible -- no matter how important the event. They're always running out the door in a frenzy, arriving everywhere at least 10 minutes late. If this sounds like you, have you ever wished you could break the pattern? According to Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management From the Inside Out, the first step is to make promptness a conscious priority.