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How to Improve My Punctuality and Attendance

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Tired of feeling like you're always 10 minutes behind yourself? You're not alone. According to a 2009 CBS News article, 15 to 20 percent of people are chronically late. In addition to the negative impression it can send about your focus and professionalism, being late to work can also lower your self-esteem, because you're constantly apologizing and covering your tracks. Improve your punctuality by fooling yourself -- make yourself believe your start time is really 20 minutes earlier than it is. That way you'll be on time, even when you're late.


Improve your punctuality and attendance by taking an honest look at how long it takes you to get ready in the morning. People tend to underestimate by 30 percent how long it takes them to complete certain tasks, CBS News says. If you’re chronically late, it might be because you don’t have a realistic idea of how much time it actually takes you to get dressed and get to work. For a week or so, keep a log of how long it takes you to complete each prework activity, from eating your breakfast to brushing your teeth to walking the dog. Whatever your total, add 20 minutes for a comfortable grace period.


Preparation is key when it comes to getting to work on time. Lay out your work clothes -- including underwear, shoes and coat -- the night before. If you take your breakfast or lunch to work, prepare that the night before, too. If you need cash, go to the ATM at night instead of waiting for the morning. The same goes for gas in the tank or bus fare. If you have kids, bathe them at night and prepare their clothes and book bags before bed as well.

Sleep Habits

Stop hitting the snooze button if you’re having trouble getting out of the house on time. Instead of getting up with just enough time to get dressed, wake up an hour or so before your normal time -- especially if you have children, advises an article on Today Money. Take time to ease into your day before the morning madness of your household. To get adequate rest in lieu of your new wakeup time, go to bed earlier at night, and limit stimulants like caffeine, sugar and the bright lights of TV and computer screens before bed.

Getting Ready

Follow one major tip to make getting out of the house easier in the morning -- put all of your belongings in one place so you aren’t flying around the house trying to gather things at the last minute. Among the essentials are your cell phone, keys, purse, wallet, briefcase, coat, shoes and umbrella. Parents should include book bags and lunches in this category.

Healthy Living and Time Management

Living healthy can also help improve your punctuality and attendance. Eat right, exercise and reduce stress, so you won’t have to take as many sick days. Also, increase productivity at work by eliminating distractions such as excessive emailing and browsing social networks. Don't miss out on valuable rest because you're staying late at the office or taking work home.


Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.

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Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images