Do you feel like you’re always running late to appointments and events no matter how hard you try to be on time? Do you frequently lose patience when caught in traffic because you’re rushing to get somewhere? Many of my clients, especially those with ADHD, experience the same frustration.

One common cause of their recurring tardiness is not building travel time into their schedule. There are sometimes other issues as well, such as being anxious about arriving early and having nothing to do, but ignoring how long it takes to get somewhere is almost always part of the mix.

So what’s the solution? Being cognizant of how long it takes to get somewhere is the first step. If you’re not good at estimating travel time (and certainly most people with ADHD are not), consider using an online mapping program (Mapquest, Google Maps, etc.) or a GPS to get you started. Add extra travel time to the estimate the program or GPS gives you, as appropriate. I sometimes go so far as to double the time given to account for traveling during a heavy traffic time of day.

The next step is to record the travel time on your calendar (you do have a calendar, right?). If your appointment time is at noon, for example, and you’ve generously estimated it will take a half hour to get there, block off 11:30 – noon on your calendars so you can be sure you’ve set aside the right amount of time. Honor the 11:30 timeslot as importantly as you would that noon appointment – make sure you’re out the door when you need to be.

Continue to increase your on-time arrival percentage by improving your travel time awareness. Pay attention to how long it takes to get places at various times of day; maybe it takes twice as long to get to a particular destination during rush hour as it does during midday, as long as accidents, weather conditions and other possible impediments aren’t a factor.

As I previously mentioned, there may be other issues that impact your on-time arrival, but planning for travel time will get you that much closer to being on time. I’d love to hear how well it works for you.

Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom.

Author's Bio: 

Internationally known professional organizer, author, and speaker Sue Becker is the founder and owner of From Piles to Smiles®. She enjoys helping people from around the world live better lives by creating customized systems to overcome their overwhelming paperwork, clutter, and schedules. She specializes in helping people who are chronically disorganized - those for whom disorganization has been a lifelong struggle that negatively impacts every aspect of their life, especially people with AD/HD. Her hands-on help, as well as her presentations, have helped thousands of individuals create substantial change in their lives.

Sue is Illinois’ first Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization. She co-authored the book Conversations on Success, and has appeared as an organizational expert on NBC News and the national TV show, Starting Over. A CPA, Sue has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.