How to Stop Being Late All the Time
Hack your brain
Motivate yourself to be on time, and trick yourself into punctual habits, with these tips.
Never explain why you're late. If you don't allow yourself to make excuses, you'll stop letting yourself off the hook. And you'll realize how often you've been handing out reasons as if everyone didn't already know them. There's a classic headline, "Woman Constantly Treating Herself for Once." Don't be "Person Constantly Delayed for This One Good Reason." Instead of focusing on causes, apologize for the effect of your lateness. That's the decent thing to do.
Delete something from your schedule. One per day, or one per week, depending on how dire your lateness is. Don't fill that time with anything else. When you have that free time, use it to get ready for the next appointment.
Calculate how much your lateness costs you. If you're paid hourly, find out how much less you make when you clock in late. If you take more expensive modes of transportation, calculate the cost difference. See how much you spend each year on lateness.
Visualize being late to meet someone. Feel the shame and the panic. Imagine the worst-case reaction they could have, whether that's frustration or a "not mad just disappointed" that makes you feel like a real dick. Now visualize being early. Think about the peace of mind as you wait for the other person. Think about standing from your seat and warmly greeting them, grandly forgiving their own lateness.
Think about your most chronically late friend or colleague. Gin up all the frustration you've ever felt with them, all the disdain. Wow, kind of harsh on your friend, but now think about other people feeling that way toward you. Avoid it.
Plan exactly what you'll do on your phone while you wait for everyone else to show up. That's free time, when you're allowed to do anything, like play a mobile game or watch YouTube with zero guilt. Get excited, not for the thing you're heading to, but for those five minutes alone before it starts.