3 hacks to make getting to work on time a little easier

Getting to work on time can be a never-ending struggle. Between rolling out of bed and hitting the road for yet another long commute, there are so many ways that time can slip through the cracks.

Here’s how to make getting to work on time in the morning a lot easier.

1. Do a lot of prep work ahead of time

This will only save you time in the morning.

Samantha Zabell, Senior Manager of Audience Development for Digital Video at TIME, previously wrote in Real Simple about how people who are never late. One of her points is, “they plan breakfast at dinner.” The piece featured advice from Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas:

“Everyone is rushed in the morning, says Gottsman — it’s the busiest time of day. Hyper-organized, punctual people tend to have their mornings laid out before they go to bed the night before. Their shoes and keys are by the door, their lunches are packed, and the coffee pot is set to start brewing. Some even lay out their outfits the night before — ‘first day of school’-style. A map for your morning routine eliminates the five minutes you spend searching for your keys, and sends you out the door right on time.”

2. Use a timer

Melyssa Griffin, an entrepreneur who hosts the Pursuit With Purpose Podcast and teaches online courses, writes on her site that perpetually late people should “figure out how long things really take:”

“Exactly how long does it take you to shower? Eat breakfast? Pick a shirt to wear? If you don’t have solid answers for these basic questions, maybe it’s a good idea to start timing yourself. Once you figure out how long things take, it’s much easier to plan accordingly. Think of it this way – if you make the same salary each month, but also have bills that equal about as much as your salary, you’d want to make a budget to ensure that you can pay each expense without winding up in debt, right? Being late is the equivalent of going into time debt. Budget your time, stay out of debt.”

3. Start your car before you leave

Whether you have to drive to the train station or to the city, starting your car in the morning during the colder months can save you a lot of time on your way out.

There’s almost nothing worse than jumping into a freezing cold car in the morning while heading to work, only to have to wait for it to warm up. If you have a remote start, you might even be able to start your vehicle from quite a long distance away, like from your kitchen to your driveway outside.

These are just a few ways to make punctuality more of a habit when it comes to getting to work.