Being late isn't just a bad habit; it is also bad etiquette. Being chronically late can end relationships and jobs, as it demonstrates a lack of respect, though it isn't always intended that way. A person may not be intentionally late, but the other party may not see it that way. However, it is possible to learn to prioritize your time and stop being late.
Being late usually constitutes a lack of planning, or assuming one will get ready, or arrive faster, than is actually possible. The best way to get around this problem is to assume that everything will take twice as long as initially thought. If a chronically late person is going to meet someone for lunch at one, and he is usually an hour late, he should plan on arriving by noon.
Some people can't stop being late because they are overbooking their schedule. This is usually due to the fact that they don't want to disappoint people by rescheduling. Some people will find it more disappointing to waste their time waiting for someone than to have a date rescheduled. Overbooking can be prevented by keeping a calendar of important dates and making sure not to book activities too close together.
When a mistake is made and two activities are booked back to back, choose which one is the most important. It is better to call and cancel a date instead of making someone wait. When a person can't stop being late, her friends and family might just stop planning things with her all together. Making someone wait is considered to be extremely rude by many people.
If a person is having trouble waking up and getting to work on time, he should set his alarm clock for one hour earlier. This will allow him to get ready and get to work either on time or a little early, even with unexpected traffic. This may require going to bed earlier than usual, to replace the sleep that is lost. If a person can't stop being late for work, he may end up losing his job.
A person who can't stop being late should be honest with people about her problem. Family and friends are not as likely to be offended when a person arrives late, if they know she has a problem being on time. They will probably show up late themselves, to minimize the waiting time. Unfortunately, employers are not likely to be understanding of someone who can't stop being late, as they need an employee to be there when scheduled for the business to run smoothly.