If you're like most folks, you're late on occasion. But if it happens often, you just might be one of the 20% of Americans that have this issue as a chronic problem?

I used to joke that I'd be 15 minutes late to my own funeral and have had to work hard on being more punctual.

We've all found ourselves rushing to be somewhere or stuck in traffic or looking for a parking space as an important event is about to begin. But did you know you can actually train yourself to be more punctual and get things done early. Check out these four tips I found in a recent article by fastcompany.com

Be Realistic:  knowing about how long things actually take you is a great start to being on time.  A lot of us don't actually know how long it takes us to shower and drive to work.  Keep track of yourself and you'll have a better understanding and be able to give yourself enough time.

Plan for a Buffer:  by planning to arrive at events and meetings at least 10-15 minutes early you will be prepared for any traffic delays, parking situations, etc.  You might even allow for more time if you are not sure of exactly where you are going.

Build Structure and Routines:  Chronically late people usually don't follow routines, they wing it.  By adding plans and structure to your day you'll be more likely to arrive on time, if not a bit early.  A great way to ensure a good start to your day is to get into the routine of getting things ready for your morning the night before.

Become Comfortable with Free Time:  Some folks crave that adrenaline rush associated with doing everything last minute.  But punctual people are more often relaxed and use their extra time to catch up or get ahead.

If you create a routine and stick to it, you'll help reduce the amount of stress not only in your life, but in the lives of those who depend on you as well.