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Although flexible schedules are more common in the workplace these days, it is still important for employees to be mindful of their arrival times.
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- 1. Dealing With Being Late Task 3507
- 2. Introduction <ul><li>Although 43% of managers say they don't mind if their employees are late for work, late employees continue to give some very interesting excuses to justify their tardiness. </li></ul>
- 3. American Survey <ul><li>According to a recent survey, 15% of workers say they arrive late to work at least once a week, while nearly one-in-four of all workers (24 %) admit to making up fake excuses to explain their tardiness. </li></ul>
- 4. Showing Up Late <ul><li>Consistently showing up late can affect how others in the company view your work ethic and discipline, as well as affect your productivity. </li></ul>
- 5. Main Causes of Being Late <ul><li>32% of workers claimed traffic was the culprit </li></ul><ul><li>17% claimed that falling back asleep was the reason. </li></ul>
- 6. Main Causes of Being Late <ul><li>7% pointed to a long commute. </li></ul><ul><li>Other popular reasons included: getting kids ready for school and day care, forgetting something at home, and feeling sick. </li></ul>
- 7. True Funny Excuses <ul><li>While rowing across the river to work, I got lost in the fog. </li></ul><ul><li>Someone stole all my daffodils. </li></ul><ul><li>I had to go audition for American Idol. </li></ul><ul><li>My ex-husband stole my car so I couldn't drive to work. </li></ul><ul><li>My route to work was shut down by a Presidential motorcade. </li></ul>
- 8. True Funny Excuses <ul><li>I wasn't thinking and accidentally went to my old job. </li></ul><ul><li>The line was too long at Starbucks. </li></ul><ul><li>I was trying to get my gun back from the police. </li></ul><ul><li>I didn't have money for gas. </li></ul>
- 9. Main Outcomes <ul><li>Poor performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Career troubles (repeatedly missing deadlines could lead to get demoted or fired). </li></ul><ul><li>Unnecessary expenses: like having to pay late fees. </li></ul>
- 10. Main Outcomes <ul><li>Financial difficulties. </li></ul><ul><li>Medical problems (heart attack because the victim kept delaying the start of their personal health program). </li></ul><ul><li>Dissatisfaction about oneself. </li></ul><ul><li>Dissatisfaction of others about one's procrastination. </li></ul>
- 11. How to Deal with Procrastination <ul><li>Candidly discuss the tardiness issue. </li></ul><ul><li>The employee may have personal scheduling issues that can be worked around with reasonable schedule adjustments. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees may need help understanding the importance of strong personal discipline. </li></ul>
- 12. How to Deal with Procrastination <ul><li>Frequent lateness can sometimes be an indicator of job dissatisfaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the current policies and consider trying flextime, which can be implemented with various levels of flexibility. </li></ul>
- 13. Conclusion <ul><li>Although flexible schedules are more common in the workplace these days, it is still important for employees to be mindful of their arrival times, </li></ul>
- 14. <ul><li>Lico Reis Consultoria & Línguas </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. Lico Reis </li></ul><ul><li>www.licoreis.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
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How to Avoid Being Late
Last Updated: November 30, 2022
This article was co-authored by Zach Pontrello . Zach Pontrello is an Embodied Leadership & Relationship Coach and the Founder of One Thought Growth & Sovereign Man Academy. His expertise lies in helping people build better relationships with themselves and with their partners, focusing on communication and honesty. Zach received his degree from John Carroll University. This article has been viewed 115,656 times.
Tired of showing up late to different places and events? It's never fun being tardy—but luckily, there's a lot that you can do to improve your timeliness. We've put together plenty of tips and tricks to help you get started. With enough focus and dedication, your days of being late will be a thing of the past.
Give yourself enough time to get ready.
Don't give yourself permission to be late.
Allow ample time for your journey.
Avoid overextending yourself.
Refrain from accepting invites to events you can't make.
Always give yourself more time than you need to get there.
- Set your clock forward by an odd number of minutes. (Setting back by 10 or 15 minutes is too easy to calculate instantly). For example, if the real time is 10.10, change yours to 10.17. This way, you think you have less time than you do. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Empathize with the person who is waiting for you. Even if it is not intentional, it is not fun to be kept waiting. If you put yourself in the position of the person waiting for you, you will better gain a sense of urgency and try harder to avoid being tardy. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Recognize that tardiness, especially consistent tardiness, is a trait that illustrates your lack of respect for others. It also suggests that you think that you are more important than those who are waiting for you. Ultimately this arrogant nature will eventually create feelings of animosity from the people who you consistently keep waiting. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 46 Not Helpful 11
- On the flip side, your tardiness may be illustrating lack of self-esteem. Perhaps you think that your presence doesn't really matter. If that were true, why were you included in the planning/invitations? They want you there, so don't disappoint them. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 43 Not Helpful 10
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.npr.org/2021/12/06/1061811764/how-to-be-on-time
- ↑ https://www.rit.edu/behindthebricks/content/travel-tips-top-10-modes-transportation
- ↑ https://downloads.lww.com/wolterskluwer_vitalstream_com/sample-content/9780781770040_Kronenberger/samples/97190.Ch6.pdf
- ↑ https://shakerroadschool.org/2018/10/teaching-timelinessand-benefits-arriving-school-early/
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Dealing With Being Late - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Dealing With Being Late
According to a recent survey, 15% of workers say they arrive ... i had to go audition for american idol. my ex-husband stole my car so i couldn't drive to work. ... – powerpoint ppt presentation.
- Although 43 of managers say they don't mind if their employees are late for work, late employees continue to give some very interesting excuses to justify their tardiness.
- According to a recent survey, 15 of workers say they arrive late to work at least once a week, while nearly one-in-four of all workers (24 ) admit to making up fake excuses to explain their tardiness.
- Consistently showing up late can affect how others in the company view your work ethic and discipline, as well as affect your productivity.
- 32 of workers claimed traffic was the culprit
- 17 claimed that falling back asleep was the reason.
- 7 pointed to a long commute.
- Other popular reasons included getting kids ready for school and day care, forgetting something at home, and feeling sick.
- While rowing across the river to work, I got lost in the fog.
- Someone stole all my daffodils.
- I had to go audition for American Idol.
- My ex-husband stole my car so I couldn't drive to work.
- My route to work was shut down by a Presidential motorcade.
- I wasn't thinking and accidentally went to my old job.
- The line was too long at Starbucks.
- I was trying to get my gun back from the police.
- I didn't have money for gas.
- Poor performance.
- Career troubles (repeatedly missing deadlines could lead to get demoted or fired).
- Unnecessary expenses like having to pay late fees.
- Financial difficulties.
- Medical problems (heart attack because the victim kept delaying the start of their personal health program).
- Dissatisfaction about oneself.
- Dissatisfaction of others about one's procrastination.
- Candidly discuss the tardiness issue.
- The employee may have personal scheduling issues that can be worked around with reasonable schedule adjustments.
- Employees may need help understanding the importance of strong personal discipline.
- Frequent lateness can sometimes be an indicator of job dissatisfaction.
- Evaluate the current policies and consider trying flextime, which can be implemented with various levels of flexibility.
- Although flexible schedules are more common in the workplace these days, it is still important for employees to be mindful of their arrival times,
- Lico Reis Consultoria Línguas
- Prof. Lico Reis
PowerShow.com is a leading presentation sharing website. It has millions of presentations already uploaded and available with 1,000s more being uploaded by its users every day. Whatever your area of interest, here you’ll be able to find and view presentations you’ll love and possibly download. And, best of all, it is completely free and easy to use.
You might even have a presentation you’d like to share with others. If so, just upload it to PowerShow.com. We’ll convert it to an HTML5 slideshow that includes all the media types you’ve already added: audio, video, music, pictures, animations and transition effects. Then you can share it with your target audience as well as PowerShow.com’s millions of monthly visitors. And, again, it’s all free.
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Never Be Late Again: 15 Tips to Guarantee You'll Always be on Time
Are you always late? Here's a roadmap to help you be more punctual.
By John Rampton • Sep 10, 2019
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As an optimist, I don't think we intend or plan to be tardy. But if you don't plan to be on time, you're planning to be late. Showing up late for anything can be stressful, disrespectful, and can be costly -- one estimate is that tardiness costs U.S. businesses more than $3 billion annually in lost productivity . Despite this, between 15 and 20 percent of people admit that they're constantly late .
If you don't want to fall into this camp, then here are 15 ways to guarantee you'll always be on time.
1. Remind yourself why you want to be more punctual.
When you're launching your own business, you need to determine the reason behind your actions. Doing so will keep you motivated and ensure that you stick with it. This may also help you identify potential roadblocks and solutions to overcome them.
The same is true of why you want to be more punctual. For example, is your tardiness adding stress to your life? Is it putting a strain on your relationships? Is it harming your reputation because you're seen as someone who is unreliable or constantly missing deadlines?
Reflect on why you want to stop being late. Think about how this is going to make your life better, and after you've done this, make being on time a priority.
2. Know yourself.
Let's say that you're always late to work. Is it because you aren't waking up early enough? Does your commute take longer than you think? Are you underestimating how long it takes for you to get around?
You can't fix your tardiness problem if you don't get to the root of the problem. You may notice that it could be a simple solution, like setting your alarm 15-minutes earlier in the morning.
Also, get to know your personal clock so that you can plan your day around that. For instance, let's say you're the type of person who needs an hour or two to get moving after waking up. Then it would be counterproductive to wake-up at 8 A.M. and expect to be at work by 9 A.M. Instead, you either set your alarm earlier or arrive at work later in the day.
3. Become a scheduling pro.
Perhaps the main reason why being on time is an issue is because you aren't managing your time effectively . The best way to correct this is by becoming a master at scheduling.
Start by tracking your time. This includes everything from the length of your commute, the time spent responding to emails and how long it takes you to complete your work. You can do this manually or use a time-tracking app . Regardless of how you go about this, you need to know how you're spending your time so you can be realistic with your plans.
Ideally, you should do this for a couple of weeks to give you a more accurate picture. After that, you can schedule everything into your calendar to prevent conflicts like being late. For example, if you found out that it takes you two hours to finish a specific task, and you start it at 9 A.M., then you wouldn't schedule a meeting across town at 11 A.M. There's just no way you would get there on time.
Related: 7 Tips for Managing Your Schedule Like a Pro
4. It's always better to overestimate.
Speaking of scheduling, it's usually for the best to overestimate. That's because no matter how organized you are, you can't predict the unexpected. This could be sitting in traffic because of an accident or not being able to get in the zone when working. Heck, sometimes we spend more time getting dressed and ready to leave the house than we thought. There have been several times when I underestimated how long it took for my clothes to dry, which led to me leaving later than planned.
The worst thing that could happen is that you arrive early, and you could use that time to catch up on some reading, emails or prepping for your next to-do-list item.
5. Take into account transition activities.
Most of us give ourselves just enough time to get from A to B or jump from one task to another. Overestimating is one way to handle unexpected events. However, I feel a lot of people don't take into account transition activities.
For example, if you have a lunch meeting that starts at noon, did you block out the appropriate amount of time to get from your office to the restaurant? If not, you may have inadvertently scheduled something else onto your calendar that butts right up against the meeting leaving you not much time to get to the event on time.
As a rule going forward, place time buffers between your calendar entries. This way you have extra time in case of an unexpected event. And, most importantly, you're avoiding any potential scheduling conflicts.
6. Plan the night before.
Instead of rushing around every morning, establish an evening routine where you prep for tomorrow tonight. Examples include laying out your clothes, packing your lunch, knowing where your keys and wallet are and reviewing your calendar. If you have a presentation, practice and have all documents and equipment packed, organized, and ready to go.
Related: By Failing to Prepare, You Are Indeed Preparing to Fail
7. Set your watch later.
Here's an easy enough hack that can trick your brain into thinking it's later than it is. Just set your watches and clocks 5 or 10 minutes later than the actual time. Just make sure that they're all synched so that you won't get confused when you wristwatch and clocks on your phone, computer, and wall are displaying various times.
8. Use reminders and notifications.
These days, reminders and notifications are automatic. For example, if you bought tickets to a concert using your Gmail address then you'll receive an email reminding you of the event. Whenever you add an entry to your calendar you'll also receive reminders.
Here's the thing: Most people don't alter these reminders and notifications. In other words, if you have a meeting at 3 P.M. and you may receive a reminder five minutes prior, that's all well and good. But, if you set the reminder to 30-minutes, that would ensure you leave the office with plenty of time to get to the meeting.
9. Under-schedule yourself.
Remember when you tracked your time? That information can prevent you from spreading yourself too thin . For instance, if you know that you have meetings all day, and you need time to travel and prep between each, then you're not going to commit to a last-minute conference call or helping an employee out with a problem. Instead, you would schedule them for another date when you have the availability.
10. Rethink your semantics.
"Instead of thinking "We have to be at the recital at 5:00,' think "The curtain goes up at 5:00,'" writes Ellen Hendriksen on HuffPost. "There's a big difference between being in your seat, program in hand, versus having technically arrived, but still cruising around looking for parking at the appointed hour."
Hendriksen suggests changing the wording in your head. For example, "I need to be in the restaurant at 7:30," "The meeting begins at 2:00," or "I have an hour to finish this and drive there and park."
11. Stop trying to squeeze in "just one more thing."
We've all been guilty of this. You look at the clock and realize that you have to leave in 10 minutes. As opposed to just sitting there, you decide to respond to an email or return a phone call. Next thing you know, you've spent 20 minutes cleaning out your inbox or chatting on the phone.
I know that you don't want to waste any valuable time . But, you need to keep that urge under control. If not, you'll end up being late. My solution around this would be to just get up and leave. If you're super early, you can spend that time replying to emails or whatever soft tasks you need to cross off your list.
12. Schedule events during off-hours.
Even if you don't commute to work, I'm sure that you at least have an idea on when peak travel times are. Usually, this is right before 9 A.M., noon, and a little after 5 P.M. Instead of joining in on the rat race, schedule events when things aren't hectic.
Since you're your own boss, this shouldn't be an ordeal. Set your schedule where you come into work after 9 and leave around 6. If you wake up early, then leave your home before rush hour begins or work from home until it's time to go. Plan an early lunch meetings when it will be less crowded on the roads and the restaurant itself.
13. Play the host.
Want to avoid travel time? Host more events. For example, instead of leaving your office and traveling across town, have the meeting in your conference room.
Related: 10 Tips for Hosting a Wildly Successful Event on a Tame Budget
14. Be ruthless with your time.
When you have something scheduled on your calendar, then that's the only thing that you should be focused on. That means not getting distracted with smartphone notifications or stopping whatever you're doing to grab coffee with a friend. It may also involve saying "no" more often. For instance, if you've already committed to attending a social event then you may have to decline an invite for another even on the same day.
15. Prioritize your sleep.
What does sleeping have to do with tardiness? Well, oversleeping is one of the most common reasons why people run late. It's impossible to get to work by 9 A.M. when you slept in until 8:30.
Make it a point to get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep each night. It sounds ridiculous, but the best way to do this is by waking up and going to bed at the same time. Avoid blue light at least an hour before hitting the hay and keep your bedroom cool and dark like a cave.
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10 simple ways to avoid being late at work
Lets look up some steps that can help you avoid being late on the job.
1. Always be aware of your schedule for the next day, try to work out an arrangement around the clock So you wouldn’t be in a rush and wouldn’t miss out on valuable things.
2. Avoiding late night parties or going to bed late on working nights would do you good. Besides a good booze will make you snooze.
3. Plan out your lunch menu the previous night, try to take it from home so you can also be in time for your lunch intervals.
4. Pack your work requirements the previous night to avoid the early morning rush. It also helps you think better when you are not under time pressure.
5. Set an alarm,do not set a snooze option you’ll land up loosing track of time once you fall back to sleep. A few minutes is not going to make a big difference.
6. Try to minimize household activities,other duties and responsibilities in the mornings by doing as many the previous night itself. Keep your clothes pressed and ready, keys in place to avoid spending time on searching for it just before you leave.
7. If your kids are completely dependent on you, you can use some help from your partner or even an older kid of your own. Make out a chart and segregate the work at home so you don’t land up doing all.
8. Don’t be stranded without gas in you vehicle. Try to fill the tank on the weekend or on the days off. Always keep extra money in your pocket just in case your transport breaks down.
9. Tryout different routes to work everyday, have a check on which one gets you to work the earliest and the one that has the least traffic. This can also minimize those little accidents that happen when we are in a rush to get somewhere.
10. The best way to avoid being late would be to leave home early. Always have a cushion time of half an hour ahead before your actual work time.
This would probably get you to start the day well organized and stress free, with a big smile that will continue till the end of the day.
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3 Tips to Avoid Being Late to Your Own Presentation
July 18, 2016 / Blog being on time, credibility, lateness, presentation tips, Rick Enrico, SlideGenius, tardiness, time management
Time is an essential factor in most professional presentations.
It’s important to keep yourself on a schedule not only before your speech, but after it as well. However, even with the precautions against poor time management, people still end up showing late to meetings and presentations.
As a listener, tardiness is slightly forgivable. As a speaker, however, being late could cost you your credibility and your listeners.
If you’ve been late to your own presentation before, repeating your mistake definitely sends out the wrong message. People might stop attending your talks once you’ve become associated with tardiness. It doesn’t matter if it’s five or thirty minutes. People will remember.
Be on time by following three tips:
Lateness is often associated with laziness. According to management consultant Diana DeLonzor in her book, Never Be Late Again , this image is countered by a type of tardiness that’s caused by wanting to cram too many things in too short a time. In trying to get everything done at once, you might lose track of time and forget to get going.
If you find yourself identifying as a crammer, don’t let it get in the way of proper planning. Keeping a timetable to track your progress avoids procrastination. The definite outline of a set schedule prevents you from squeezing in any extra last-minute activities.
Know what time your presentation is going to start and plan your agenda around that. Give yourself a five-minute allowance for any unexpected complications you may encounter mid-preparation. Having spent all your time, gather all the materials you need and leave.
Don’t stall with extra activities. Get up and go.
Prepare for Downtime
Studies show that late people are really afraid of being early . Being punctual may trigger a deep-seated fear of not knowing what to do.
For presenters, arriving before the audience causes anxiety while waiting for the room to fill up. In such cases, learn to plan for the downtime. You don’t have to sit idly and let your stage fright consume you. There are a number of helpful activities you can do before your presentation. You can start doing warm-up drills that can improve your body language. It’s also possible to do some breathing exercises to ease your nerves. Simple things like stretching and taking deep breaths will keep you preoccupied long enough.
Once you’ve established that you have something to do with the spare time, you’ll find it easier to come on time.
The most effective way to combat lateness is to be mindful. Check the time every now and then to see if you’re still on track. You may lose yourself in preparation and forget about doing the other things you need to do.
Another timetable comes in handy here. Being aware of how much time you spend on a task lets you improve your pace. However, this isn’t limited to pre-presentation. You can also apply this to your actual speech. Monitor yourself as you speak and make sure to end on time. Keeping your audience longer than the allotted span will also frustrate them and make them zone out on you.
Learn to overcome your tardiness.
Don’t stall during your preparation. Once you’re done, head out the door. If you arrive early and get anxious with the long wait, prepare activities to keep you busy during the downtime. Be mindful of the time you spend on everything to avoid upsetting your audience.
Delivering a good presentation involves improving all aspects of your performance, including your time management.
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Durayappah, Adoree. “The Real Reason Some of Us Are Chronically Late.” Psychology Today . November 14, 2014. www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thriving101/201411/the-real-reason-some-us-are-chronically-late “Here’s How You Can Stop Being Late All the Time.” Time . May 22, 2014. www.time.com/106815/stop-being-late
Featured Image: “ Time ” by Moyan Brenn on flickr.com
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How to Stop Being Late
Try these ten tips to build sustainable habits to be on time..
Posted September 20, 2021 | Reviewed by Devon Frye
- Condition yourself for punctuality by planning ahead and expecting the unexpected.
- Rethink and embrace being early, particularly in the context of respect for others' time.
- Experiments with different techniques to see what works for you and your busy life.
We all have a horror story about being late, from arriving at a wedding just as the bride and groom are running off in a shower of birdseed to spilling popcorn kernels in front of miffed movie-goers when we’ve arrived mid-film. Being late even shows up in our nightmares—who hasn’t woken up in a sweat from a late-for-a-final-exam dream? Before you’re late for your next important date, consider these 10 tips for being right on time:
Tip #1: Re-estimate how much time you think things will take.
Optimism (or, ahem, delusion) is the biggest driver behind our underestimation of how long tasks will take. Try adding a buffer of at least 25 to 50 percent more time than you’ve estimated. The bigger the task or the longer the travel time, the more wiggle room you have to build in. Especially if it’s a task you’ve not yet encountered before, err on the side of caution even if it sounds like a breeze.
Tip #2: Account for transition activities.
These include traffic, getting kids out of the house (“You have to poop now ?”), and the big one-two punch, parking and walking. These are the mundane tasks that stealthily (yet all too consistently) throw off our estimates. Too often we look up the drive time on Google Maps and take the estimate as gold. Instead, consider bookending that estimate with extra time to find your kid’s other shoe and feed the parking meter. It seems obvious, but it’s not. Try it and watch your life change.
Tip #3: Beware “one more thing.”
This also falls under the optimism umbrella, but deserves its own tip. Oftentimes we’ll try to squeeze in one more thing—get gas, check email—which inevitably makes us late. A college friend once said he had to do “just one thing” before a road trip. I envisioned a trip to the ATM or mailbox, but he then proceeded to replace his transmission. By himself. With an acetylene torch from the art department.
Even though we know better, we think that the last errand will magically take no time at all. So, make like Jacques the shrimp in "Finding Nemo" and tell yourself, “I shall resist.”
Tip #4: Beware “I’ll just do everything else faster.”
We might be tempted to press the snooze alarm or squeeze in one last task, agreeing with the devil on our shoulder that all we need to do is hit fast forward for the rest of our morning. But trying to hurry just makes us stressed (and, of course, late). It’s worth it to get up on time—you can even place your phone or alarm clock on the other side of the room. This might require a shift of evening habits to allow you to go to bed earlier (but that’s a whooooole 'nother article).
Tip #5: Rethink your semantics.
Instead of thinking, “We have to be at the recital at 5:00,” think “The curtain goes up at 5:00.” There’s a big difference between being in your seat, program in hand, versus having technically arrived, but still cruising around looking for parking at the appointed hour.
Therefore, change your wording: “I need to be in the restaurant at 7:30,” “The meeting begins at 2:00,” or “I have an hour to finish this, and drive there, and park.” Spelling it out gives us a sense of the magnitude of the steps involved.
Tip #6: Being early isn’t a waste of time.
Most of us hate wasting time. When we’re kept waiting, like in a doctor’s waiting room or a restaurant where we have a reservation, we get annoyed and agitated. Therefore, we assume that deliberately getting somewhere early will feel the same way. Not necessarily! When you’re deliberately early, you’re in charge, so you get to fill the time however you want, knowing that it doesn’t come at the expense of someone else’s convenience. Indeed, that last email, crammed in before leaving the house, could actually be written leisurely once you’ve actually arrived and are in the waiting area.
To this point, though, a tip I often hear is to keep something productive on hand to fill in those empty few minutes: write a thank you note, catch up on email. If it works for you, great. But also consider using the time for something pleasant, not just productive: look through photos on your phone, read a real book (how quaint!), or strike up a conversation with other early birds (bonus: at a business event, casual conversation beforehand builds relationships, which qualifies as super productive).
Tip #7: Aim for 10 minutes early, if only to increase your margin of error.
Here, punctuality is boiled down to a math problem. Think of it this way: aiming to arrive precisely on time gives you basically a one-minute window of arrival. If your event starts at noon, you aim to arrive at noon, and you arrive even at 12:01, you’re late. The margin of error is too small. Stress is guaranteed.
Instead, if your event starts at noon and you aim to get there at 11:50, you have a 10-minute window of arrival. Much more realistic and much less likely to make you drive like a stunt double.
Tip #8: Transfer your biggest morning headache to the night before.
You don’t have to be extreme—please don’t sleep in tomorrow’s clothes—but consider taking the biggest time drains from your morning and doing them the night before. Packing kids’ school lunches, putting your keys, phone, and wallet in one place, even showering and laying your clothes out for the morning can all be done before you hit the sack.
Tip #9: Get into the habit of thinking ahead.
Most tips you’ll find here (or elsewhere online) are based on the assumption that we think ahead about our tasks. For example, do X early, estimate Y more accurately. But most of us are late precisely because we forget to think ahead. We look up the appointment’s address at the last minute and realize it’s farther away than we thought. Or we forget that our reservations are at the height of rush hour.
Thinking ahead is a part of organization and time- management skills, something that takes time to develop. But the greatest added value can come from this: In addition to packing those kid lunches, consider visualizing the next day the night before. If you break it down by chunk or by scheduled meetings and events, it’s easier to picture what preparation may go into each, and to plan accordingly. (Or for true punctuality ninjas, look at the upcoming week on Sunday night.)
Where do you have to be and when? Are there new addresses to map out online? Are there any really important events, like an interview, a funeral, or a kid's recital you can’t be late for? Anything scheduled back-to-back-to-back? An always-punctual colleague blocks 45 minutes for 30-minute meetings to allow a buffer for surprises (like the inevitable "that guy" who makes the meeting run over with questions specific only to him). Pinpoint the weak spots and plan (or reschedule) accordingly.
Tip #10: Try it once and see.
If you’re chronically late, pick one upcoming event for which you’ll be on time. Then do it up right: Plan ahead, account for all transitions, leave early, and aim to be the first one there.
Then, observe the process of everyone else’s arrival. Notice how you feel calm instead of frantic, that you don’t have to feel guilty, and most importantly, notice how you feel when others arrive late.
There’s a French saying, which translates loosely to, “While you keep a man waiting, he reflects on your shortcomings.” I might add, “...even if you’ve texted that you’re running late.” Putting yourself in the shoes of those you’ve kept waiting is a powerful motivator to change for the better. You’ll come off as more professional, more respectful, and more competent. Not to mention more relaxed.
Call it prompt, punctilious, or just plain old on time. There’s no zealot like the newly converted; try it out a few times. You’ll love moving from being put on the spot to getting there on the dot.
Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D. , is a psychologist at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.
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