Gretchen Lidicker is a writer, researcher, and the author of the books CBD Oil Everyday Secrets and Magnesium Everyday Secrets. She has a degree in biology and a masters in physiology with a concentration in complementary and integrative medicine. She's been featured in the New York Times, Marie Claire, Forbes, and Travel & Leisure.
Do you have a friend, family member, or coworker that is never—and I mean, never— late? If you do, you can relate to feeling like they must have more hours in the day than the rest of us.
When I arrive 2 minutes late for a morning meeting — sweating and breathing heavily from bounding up the stairs — I can’t help but myself: What’s their secret? How do they get it all done and done on time?
To find out, I tracked down four people who are never late and asked them to share the habits that keep them punctual. These are the ones they think make the difference between early and late.
1.”No phone” mornings
If you have trouble sticking to a schedule, especially in the morning, it might be time to experiment with going phone-free first thing in the a.m., or at least until you’ve made some progress on your day. Liza, a 32-year-old journalist who decided to implement this rule a few months ago, says it transformed her productivity. “I don’t look at my phone until after I’ve worked out. It helps prevent me from wasting an hour on Instagram or going through my emails, which is surprisingly easy to do!” she says.
The lack of distraction helps her start her day on not just a healthy note, but a punctual one as well. “Not wasting time on my phone in the morning helps me get up and started right away, which prevents me from being late,” she explains.
2. A magnesium spray to get to sleep faster
When it comes to getting out of the house on time, what you do in the evening matters just as much as what you do in the morning. And if you’re someone who finds it hard to wind down before bed, you might want to reach for an all natural remedy for help. That’s what Clara, a 28-year-old real estate attorney in Miami, does. “When I’m on my computer late at night — which happens more often than I’d like to admit — I use a magnesium spray,” she says.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including those in charge of muscle relaxation, heart rate, and the nervous system. Preliminary research suggests supplementing with magnesium may help combat stress, anxiety, and insomnia. “I spray it on my feet around 20 minutes before I go to bed. I think it helps me wind down and sleep more deeply, which means I wake up on time and even more importantly, refreshed,” she says.
3. A (really) good coffee maker
Audrey, a 29-year-old medical student who prides herself on punctuality, says investing in a Nespresso machine for her apartment was a game-changer. “If I was late it was always because I was picking up a coffee,” she says. But now that she has the campus’s best coffee right in her apartment, she doesn’t get stuck waiting in line for a latte. Plus, as she explains it: “Knowing that my machine makes the perfect brew every morning is all the motivation I need to avoid hitting the snooze button on my alarm.”
An added bonus? Grabbing coffee every morning used to cost her about $150 a month. “As a student that was not something my budget could handle,” she says. And while a Nespresso machine (like one of these) will set you back about $150, she now has coffee made perfectly made every morning for about $1.50 a cup.
Ready for one last tip? This one is from me. And while I can’t say that I’m always on time, getting one of these Philips Smart Sleep Sleep & Wake Light alarm clock changed my life. It wakes you up slowly by simulating the natural sunrise (aka, it starts off as a soft pink light and then gets progressively brighter until your bedroom is filled with a wonderful morning light). This clock changes the game in the winter if you have to wake up before it’s light outside. It’s an investment (it’ll cost you a little less than $200 dollars) but it helps me get up and at ‘em all year long.
I don’t know about you, I’ll consider establishing some of these habits myself. Here’s to being more punctual from here on out.