Are you constantly rushing out the door, trying to get somewhere on time? Are you always late for meetings? Missing appointments? Never catching the early bus? Nobody wants to be late. Chronic lateness is bad enough among friends and family, but it can be downright detrimental on the job! Being late once in a while is understandable, but if you’re sneaking past the boss’s desk on a regular basis, then we’ve got some tips to get you where you want to go, on time!
If you’re supposed to be at work at 8:30 every morning, aim to be at your desk ten minutes earlier, at 8:20 a.m. Got a dentist appointment booked for 4:45 in the afternoon? Plan on arriving at 4:35. Not only will you avoid being late, but you will have an extra ten minutes to collect yourself before starting something new.
The Night Before
Taking a few minutes the night before to assemble the next day’s clothing, or to pack your children’s lunch, will give you some breathing room in the morning — for things like eating your breakfast. If you’re always rushing out the door, how many times have you had to skip the most important meal of the day!
Being Early is Really Just Being On Time
If you struggle with chronic lateness, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is your own perception of time. You’ll need to work on reprogramming the tape that plays in your head telling you that being early is a waste of time. By placing value and importance on arriving early, you’ll find it much easier to stick to a schedule and reduce your lag time.
Are you one of those people who thinks everything will take ten minutes? Try timing yourself. iPhone and Android both have free stopwatch apps, so there’s no excuse not to try this. Start timing when you leave the house and see how long it actually takes you to get to work. You may surprise yourself. That ‘ten-minute’ trip might be costing fifteen or twenty minutes more than you knew!
In a perfect world, trains would always be on time, buses would never be late, and there would be no such thing as rush hour traffic. A good rule of thumb is to allow an extra 25% to get anywhere. Think of it this way: If it takes you an hour to drive to work in the morning, give yourself an hour and fifteen minutes. That way, if there is a delay, you’ll be one of the few who still arrives on time.
Alarms, Alerts, and Reminders
We live in a technological age. There’s an app for just about everything. And if you’re not using an app, chances are you’re sitting in front of a computer or gaming system, and there’s probably a clock nearby. Take full advantage of the alarms, alerts and reminders you have around you. Those little pop-up messages telling you it’s time to leave, or time to get dressed can be the best personal assistant you’ll ever need!
While it’s never easy changing how we do things, it’s good to remember that old saying: first things are hard, then they are easy. With practice and repetition, you’ll soon get into the habit of being on time. Being late will become something you just used to do.