6 Punctuality Tips
Being late for commitments is unfortunately all too common these days, so here’s a guide with our 6 punctuality tips to come to the rescue. Amongst the many reasons for lack of punctuality, internet, smart phones, and other handheld devices and the immediate connectivity they offer are largely to blame, giving users the ability to easily send an im, sms or phone call saying “sorry, be there in ten minutes”.
People who are habitually late project incompetence, self-centredness, and even a lack of integrity, giving the impression that they are irresponsible, whilst letting others assume that they think that their time is more valuable than that of others.
Train yourself to be on time, every time, by changing your habits through learning the following our ‘6 Punctuality Tips’
Punctuality Tip #1. Have everything ready the night before.
If you have everything ready to go well in advance, you won’t have too many obstacles that will delay you in getting out of the house in the morning. Every night, go through the following routine so that you’ll have less to do in the morning:
- Lay out the clothes you’re going to wear.
- Complete any tasks you might normally leave for the morning, like writing emails or printing out documents.
- Prepare your keys and wallet, pack up your bag or briefcase with whatever material you’ll need to take with you next day.
- Have everything ready so you can make a quick breakfast. If it means you’ll prepare the cereal you are going to have in the morning, get ready by checking that you have fresh milk to go with it too.
- In the morning, wake up, get dressed, grab your stuff, and go.
Punctuality Tip #2: Anticipate delays before they happen
Traffic, parking and walking time are time-sucks. If you thought ahead and accounted for these everyday delays, they wouldn’t throw you off your estimate timings and make you late all the time.
A punctual person reviews directions online the night before and checks traffic reports before leaving, some will even drive to a new location the day before to understand the route. To be punctual, anticipate all delays and have as much information as possible to better your time estimate of any potential holdups.
Punctuality Tip #3: Wake up on time & Leave on time.
Pressing the snooze button is a recipe for starting your day late! We might be sometimes tempted to sleep in until the last minute or squeeze in that one last task before leaving the house, assuming that we’ll just speed up the rest of our morning or our workday to still be on a good time schedule. But it never works, all it does is make us agitated (and, of course, late). So wake up on time and leave on time.
If you feel so exhausted in the morning that you sleep until the last possible moment, think about going to sleep earlier. This might require a major shift of evening habits which you can read about in one of our previous articles, tips to energise your mornings.
Punctuality Tip #4: See where you often waste the most time and change it!
What do you get caught up doing that prevents you from getting out the door? “Time suckers,” like getting distracted while checking emails, spending too long styling your hair, or texting on instant chat on your mobile phone often go unnoticed and can throw off your daily planning by a mile!
Moreover, here are a few mistakes that consistently late people should avoid:
- Checking your email or voicemail just before you leave. That “last quick check” will almost always take more time than you think, which is, after all, what you’re hoping for. If you thought there’d be nothing important in your email, you wouldn’t bother checking it in the first place.
- If you always try to answer one more email before you leave, here’s a way to outsmart yourself: Take a task to do when you reach your destination, and leave early. Tell yourself that you need that ten minutes on the other end to read those documents or check those figures.
- Zoning out. Ever look up at the clock and wonder where the past hour went? Chronically late people sometimes tend to “get so wrapped up in the present moment, they completely space out on other commitments. Set a timer on your computer or phone to remind yourself to stop and move on.
Punctuality Tip #5: Aim to be 10 minutes early for everything.
Aiming to arrive precisely on time gives you basically a one-minute window of arrival. If your office meeting or event starts at noon, you aim to arrive at noon, and even if you arrive at 12:01, you’re late. Stress is guaranteed. Instead, if your office meeting or event starts at noon and you aim to get there at 11:50, you have a 10-minute window of arrival. It is much more realistic and much less likely to get stressed if you encounter a traffic jam or a red light.
Put your noon appointment into your schedule for 11:50, but always have 10 minutes of work with you to fill the gap time, in case you surprise yourself by showing up “on time” 10 minutes early!
If you can’t stand waiting, have something you can read in short segments almost everywhere you go. This makes it easy to be early, since in the 10 minutes you have before an appointment or event, you can get a few pages of reading done.
Punctuality Tip #6 – Don’t overbook yourself & Learn to say No!
Some people are late because they can’t say no to extra work at the office. If you are always helping others at the last minute because you assume you can squeeze it into your office schedule, it’s time to start being more realistic. If you don’t have the time and agreeing to do something extra will make you late, be honest about it.
Additionally, scheduling back-to-back appointments at the offices without leaving enough time in between to move from place to place is a stress bomb waiting to explode. Evaluate your schedule and make sure each activity is outlined by several minutes before and after so you can spend that time doing other things, like eating, drinking, recharging, commuting and whatever you need to do between appointments.
Punctuality – especially at the office – should be one of your daily core values. When you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, and you don’t show up, what does that say about you? When it happens over and over, might it affect others’ impression of your integrity. Try to take punctuality as seriously as you take other values that you strive to sustain. If you care more about being punctual, you’ll start being more punctual.
What other advice do our readers have for late people to be more punctual in the office environment and in life in general? Let us know your punctuality tips and suggestions in the comment box below.