How to Be on Time

To Achieve Academic Success

Chinese students running on campus
FangXiaNuo / Getty Images

Do you seem to be late for school a lot? Do people tease you about it? Do your grades suffer because of it? Does your tardiness annoy your teacher?

Being on time is so important for academic success! Learn to improve your reputation and your chances for academic success with these tips for being right on time — all the time!

Tips for Punctuality

  1. Rethink the meaning of "on time." People who are always on time are really people who arrive early every day--and acknowledge that things can go wrong to set them back several minutes. When things do "go wrong" these students arrive on time!
  2. Understand the importance of being on time. Students who are always on time are the people who earn the best grades, win scholarships, and get into great colleges. In the working world, the people who are always on time are the people who get promotions.
  3. Get enough sleep. If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, then make a serious effort to get to bed earlier. Sufficient sleep is essential for maximum brain function anyway, so you really don't want to ignore this aspect of your scholastic habits.
  4. Give yourself a realistic amount of time to dress and groom. You can do this with a simple exercise: Get up early one morning and time yourself (moving at a normal pace) to see how long it takes you to get ready. You may be surprised at the time it takes, especially if you find you have been trying to squeeze forty minutes worth of grooming into fifteen minutes each morning. You can try creating a time management clock.
  5. Know exactly when you need to be at your destination and subtract ten or fifteen minutes to establish your arrival time. This will give you time to go to the restroom or chat with friends. What time are you expected to be seated in your homeroom or your first class? If your class begins at 7:45, you should arrive at the school by 7:30 and be in your seat at 7:40.
  6. Be open to your teacher's preferences. Does your teacher want you to be seated early? If your teacher wants you to be in class before the bell rings, then do so if it's possible — even if you don't agree. Don't get angry and blame others if you aren't meeting the teacher's expectations. Why cause trouble for yourself?
  7. Communicate any problems. If your bus is always late or you have to take your little brother to school and it always makes you late, just explain this to your teacher.
  8. Listen to traffic news. If you depend on public transportation to get to school, always keep an eye on schedule interruptions.
  9. Have a backup plan for your transportation. If you normally ride to school with a friend, think ahead and plan what to do if your friend gets sick.
  10. Set your clocks forward by ten minutes. This is a dirty little psychological trick that many people play on themselves. The funny thing is, it really works!
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Your Citation
Fleming, Grace. "How to Be on Time." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Fleming, Grace. (2020, August 28). How to Be on Time. Retrieved from Fleming, Grace. "How to Be on Time." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 1, 2023).