Running late is one thing, but not being able to get out of the house because one can’t find an important item is something else entirely. Write a scene in which your character is already late and is searching for an important item, one he or she absolutely cannot leave without (or at least, thinks he or she cannot leave without). Maybe he lost his car keys the night before and was sure they’d turn up by now. Perhaps she can’t find her phone and so she won’t have GPS access. Or possibly the spare ink cartridge for the printer is no where to be found and the professor only accepts hard copies of essays, not emailed documents. Whether your character finds the item is up to you, thought the story should at all times be grounded in his or her emotional reality. How does that panic manifest itself?
Give this exercise nine minutes of your time because, hey, you’re already late! 🙂
Write it up and see what happens.