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Posts Tagged ‘Time management’

Don’t Be Late: Do These Six Things To Help You Be On Time

In productivity on September 25, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Early is on time.  On time is late.  If you are late, don’t bother to show up.

analog clock sketch in black surface

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Are you one of those people who struggle with being on time?  You are not alone.  There are many people who never arrive on time or struggle to meet deadlines.  As a result, they may suffer the consequences of tardiness – whether it’s a missed opportunity or in extreme cases, termination.  Whatever the case, there are 6 things you can put into practice to help you be on time.

Figure Out How Long Things Actually Take.  Oftentimes we underestimate how long a particular activity really takes.  For instance, that walk to the train station to get to work (or wherever) – is it 8 minutes or is it more like 13 minutes?  It’s probably more like 13  minutes when you account for walking out of your house/apartment, getting to the elevator or stairs to get out of your building then starting your actual walk to the station.  And along the way, what about those traffic lights and the fact that you need to put money on your pass to get through the turnstile – there is always a very long line especially when you are running late.  If you drive, what about the amount of time it takes to get to your car, get in, buckle up and start the car?  This is before you drive off.  And what about traffic and parking?  Every second and every detail counts when it comes to time management and unfortunately people aren’t usually unclear about their time frame, often contributing to chronic tardiness.  What is the solve?  Become clear about the amount of time it takes to complete a task.  Time yourself for a week or so in order to get a clear picture of your time factor.  This will also help you to budget in buffers for unforeseen occurrences.

Get Organized.  The habit of being organized is powerful in the quest to help you not be late.  Learn to organize your living space (even your finances) as this allows for a clear mental space and will help you get focused on the important tasks at hand.  Whether it’s for work, school, a date or even a doctor’s appointment, nothing is worse than running late when you are ill prepared.  If you are always scrambling to find something to wear, you’re not clear on your daily agenda and you can never find your keys, you will always undermine your sense of well being and your ability to be more productive.  Instead, get prepared ahead of time for your day or week.  Use a planner (digital and/or traditional) to plan out your most important tasks.  Use it as a roadmap for what your day should look like.  Pull your clothes (shoes, accessories,undergarments) for the next day/week.  This way you won’t be caught off guard by items that need dry cleaning, ironing or repairs.  If you take your lunch to work or school, prepare that at night so you can grab and go and when it’s time to leave.  Make sure your keys, wallet, purse, etc. are in a central location so that won’t have to hunt these items down.  If you are traveling someplace new, review the directions beforehand and leave early enough to reduce anxiety and to allow for time to find your way if you do get lost.

Get Enough Sleep And Don’t Hit That Snooze Button.  If you are running late often because you always oversleep, you obviously might not be getting enough rest.  Going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting 7-8 hours of sleep can help feel refreshed when it’s time to get up.  In addition, get out of the habit of hitting the snooze and just get up as soon as the alarm goes off.  Repeatedly hitting snooze can actually make you more tired and groggy and it’s very easy to mistakenly turn your alarm off and fall back into a deep thus making you late.

Stay Focused And Do Not Over-Schedule.  Learn to eliminate unnecessary tasks and distractions that won’t contribute to your punctuality.  For instance, if you are working against a deadline for a project, don’t get caught up in scrolling social media, checking emails, or taking phone calls and instead schedule breaks to take care of these things.  Also, set boundaries with those around you to respect your time.  Another way in which people end up running late is trying squeeze in the completion of projects before having to leave for a prior commitment.  Consider this:  Say you are meeting friends at 5 for dinner. You are working on a paper, you need to send an important email by 5, you still don’t know what you are wearing and it’s already 1:30.  You should stop working on that paper around 2:30, take 15 minutes to finish up and send that email take, take about 15 minutes to figure out what you are going to wear and by 3 start getting ready – assuming it takes about an hour to shower, get dressed, etc.  This brings you to about 4pm which is a good time to prepare to leave.  This may seem a bit early since where you are meeting is only 20 minutes away but keep in mind that it’s rush hour and you don’t want the evening commute to make you late.  Allowing these buffer times and considering how much time you actually have and how long each task takes can help you to be on time.

Set Your Clock For A Later Time Than It Actually Is.  Setting the clocks in your home 10 minutes or so later than it actually is can prove to be helpful in the quest for not being late.  Even when you know that your clock is 10 minutes fast, there is still that initial shock of thinking you are late that will make you move a little faster.

Say No.  Become comfortable with telling people no.  If you have several important things scheduled that need to take place and a request is made of you that you realistically cannot engage in, gently decline or reschedule.  Not saying no is a disservice to you and the person making requests of you.