DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a lateness problem like nobody's business. I work part-time for this really cool woman, and I like the work that we do. She is interesting, and so is her work environment. I wish it were full-time, but she pays regularly, so it is cool. That should mean that I would get my rear up and get to work on time, right? I never seem to get it together on time. My alarm clock doesn't go off, or I lose track of time, or I don't leave in time to get the train. Something seems to get in the way all the time. To her credit, she has been pretty cool about the situation. She likes me and has said so. She even told me last week that I have to get it together -- not just for her, but for myself. I know she is trying to help me, but I keep messing up. What can I do to become an on-time person? -- Standing in My Own Way, Bronx, N.Y.
DEAR STANDING IN MY OWN WAY: Get out a piece of paper and make two columns. In one column, write down all of the things that you appreciate about your current job. Be as specific as possible. In the other, write down all of the things you do that ruin your success. Review your list, and ask yourself if your self-sabotage is worth it.
If you truly enjoy your work, figure out how to honor it by being on time. Can you get up an hour earlier? Set multiple alarms. Review the train schedule, and plan to arrive a half-hour early. Give yourself permission to be on time because you deserve the rewards that come with punctuality. By establishing little disciplines that help you to remain mindful of timeliness, you can master your organizational and psychological challenges surrounding this issue and be free of tardiness!