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My aunt does this. She sets her watch 15 mins early because she knows that she is chronically late all the time.

Is there a word or phrase specifically for the act of setting your watch forward with this intention? Or perhaps for the kind of person who tries to correct themselves with techniques like this?

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There are the terms time optimist and time realist. Maybe your aunt is a realistic time optimist. – JLG Jun 20 '14 at 16:28
Time management awareness. – Sᴋᴜʟʟ ᴘᴇᴛʀᴏʟ Jun 20 '14 at 16:34
I'm curious. Does it actually help? Or does she mentally just subtract 15 mins when she reads the watch? – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Jun 20 '14 at 16:43
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Maybe a little. My aunt is still late, but less so than she used to be. – Corey Ogburn Jun 20 '14 at 16:47
A retrocrastinator? – 200_success Jun 21 '14 at 2:04

There is, as far as I am aware, no expression which describes the act of putting forward a watch several minutes in order to prevent tardiness or chronic lateness. With the advent of cell/mobile/smart phones, laptops etc., wristwatches will becoming obsolete (in my opinion) and any need for coining such a phrase or word is doomed.

Instead the OP could use several timely expressions to describe his aunt's strategy. The first that sprang to mind was precautious. But that's a bit tedious and uninspiring, so bearing in mind that time is of essence, may I suggest the following expressions and idiom (with tongue stuck firmly in cheek).

  • Anticipator, n.
  • Ahead of time, idiom.
    My aunt is always ahead of time
  • Anachronistic, adj.
    when something (or someone) is chronologically misplaced
  • Chronologist, n.
  • Horologist, n.
    an expert in horology
  • Timesaver, adj., n.
  • Watchful, adj.
  • Watchwoman, n. (from the established noun watchman)
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absent-minded, daylight savings dawdler

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