Getting from point A to point B is easy. Right? So why does it sometimes feel like you’re Jack Bauer in an episode of 24. One minute your sipping a vanilla latte with your feet up on the desk and the next moment you are frantically station hopping trains, flapping your arms at passing cabs or negotiating peak-hour traffic with the same desperation as a counter intelligence agent trying to track down a rogue splinter cell. The clock is ticking and you’re late again.

Do what Jack does. Make a plan…then execute it:

<h3″>Where are you going?

I don’t want to overstate it, but this is a critical part of the plan. Make sure you have a location. Double check the address, look it up on a map and write it down somewhere. Make a mental note of some of the landmarks near the location, or even better identify the nearest cross street. The better you know the lay of the land the easier it’s going to be for you to lose that tail.

When do you need to be there?

This is almost as important as knowing where you need to be. Someone is expecting you to turn up at the designated time for the drop off, and if you are late there’s going to be some explaining to do back at CTU. My advice is to give yourself a buffer of about 10 minutes for a dramatic car chase, a brief exchange of gunfire or an unexpected explosion.

Who do you need to meet?

Whether it’s an ASIO operative or a representative from one of the local law enforcement agencies you should have completed a general background check before you left the office. A case of mistaken identity could be embarrassing at the least and fatal at worse. Most people have a Linked In profile…

Why do you have to go there?

Okay. This one is probably obvious. You can avoid many of those quizzical looks and awkward silences by just having a legitimate reason for your meeting. Maybe it’s even worthwhile letting your contact know why you are meeting beforehand, so they can prepare for the encounter as well. It might even facilitate the process and help you avoid the usual body search for a hidden microphone and concealed weapons.

How are you going to get there?

There are generally 10 different transport modes to choose from in most big cities (not counting helicopter or submarine). So whether you are going to share a ride in an unmarked van, go deep undercover and pose as a bus driver or just burst onto the scene in a police car with sirens wailing will depend largely on how you answered the previous questions—but, remember the old adage…always expect the unexpected.

That’s why Jack Bauer always has a plan B. Sometimes, just getting there might be the toughest part of your assignment. Luckily there is an app that will work out the trip logistics for you. Maybe, this time, you will get there on time after all.