I’m not going to point fingers or anything, but how many of us having serious problems getting anywhere on time?
It is a big issue for a lot of people and adds unnecessary stress in our lives.
No matter how chronically late you are, it can be fixed!
- Put down the smart phone. Don’t check social media right before you have to leave. It can be a real time-suck! Invariably, answering that last email or scrolling through your Facebook page will make you late. You’ll get caught up in things that have no real importance in what you are doing at the time. Like the latest funny quote or a cute cat video! These things can wait (or maybe even be skipped entirely). Social media and email is never life or death. If something is important, they will call you. I promise.
- Expect complications. If you know me you know that I am not a doomsayer but when it comes to getting somewhere on time you can never just assume that traffic will be good and you’ll hit every green light. Accidents happen, construction happens, and we are not fortune tellers. Leave early enough that these minor inconveniences won’t majorly inconvenience the person you’re meeting.
- Plan the night before. Not everyone is a morning person and it can be hard to drag yourself out of bed and get out of the house on time. Prepare as much as you can the night before, when you’re already awake and moving. Set out your clothes, pack up what you need to being, and pre-make your lunch. Do this for your kids, too, and it will get the school day started smoothly.
- Set reminders – early. Everyone has access to a digital calendar these days. Every day, be sure to put your upcoming appointments in your mobile calendar along with reminders and alarms. A good trick is to set the alarm 10 or 15 minutes earlier than you need to leave the house.
- Look for patterns. How long does it take you to shower, get dressed, and do your hair and makeup each day? How long does it typically take you to do your online banking? What about making dinner? Check out these patterns each day. Time yourself. Then use these time frames to do similar tasks and avoid being late.
Okay, so now that we know HOW not to be late, I think it is equally important to know WHY not to be late.
Being punctual shows others that you value their time. If you are consistently late to events people begin to internalize that their time isn’t as important as yours. They will stop wanting to participate in activities with you. It is all about respect.
But it also about you. Being on time shows that you are in control. Being late eventually becomes self-defeating behavior. You won’t land the new client, you won’t be asked to volunteer on an important committee again, and you won’t be happy with your own situation.
That’s right; once again, it all comes down to personal happiness. Being on time is a habit that will help you be more productive, motivated and ultimately happier.
So – what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and get on task!