BE PREPARED AHEAD OF TIME. At least 24 hours prior to the time you must leave your home or office, make a list of everything you must do before you leave. Make sure you have enough gas in the car. Go to the ATM or bank and get the pocket money you'll need. Put your briefcase or purse right near the door. Gather what you're going to wear, so you can simply grab everything and get dressed quickly. Jot yourself any reminders on a Post-it note and stick it to the inside of your front door (things to pick up, things to bring, or things to do). You'll save lots of precious time if you have everything organized and ready to go, you won't have to rush and you'll get to your destination without stress.
PREPARE YOUR FAMILY. If you have to send your kids off to school in the morning, be sure all of their belongings are also prepared the night before. Lay out their outfits. Be sure their books are in book bags and sitting by the door. Make lunches the evening before. Be sure they wake up so there's ample time to get dressed and eat breakfast.
LEAVE EARLY. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, be sure you leave early enough. Pad your time. This way if there is traffic, you'll still be on time. In other words, if it takes you a half hour to get there, leave at least 45 minutes early, or more.
AVOID OBSTACLES. If construction is scheduled on the interstate, take an alternate route. Avoid rush hour. Read your local papers and listen to local radio stations so you're prepared.
KNOW HOW TO GET THERE. If you're not really sure how to get to your destination, allow for extra time. If possible, drive to that destination prior to your appointment. This way, you'll know exactly how to get there on your scheduled day. If that isn't possible, call someone at your destination. Ask for specific directions and write them down. You can also use a map service on the Internet, such as Yahoo, to get directions. You simply go to www.yahoo.com, click on MAPS, click on DRIVING DIRECTIONS and follow the instructions provided. You'll get point to point driving directions, and a map. How convenient!
AVOID UNNECESSARY DISTRACTIONS. If the phone rings right as you're leaving your home or office, let your answering machine screen the call. Unless it's someone calling about the particular destination you're about to leave for, then that message can probably wait until later on. It will still be waiting for you on your answering machine when you return. Believe me, if you pick up that phone, you're going to be late!
KEEP AN EYE ON THE TIME. Always wear a watch or have clocks in the rooms you're constantly in. And if you have to, set an alarm clock or timer to go off at the time you must leave. When the alarm sounds, it's time to get going.
By Maria Gracia
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