Try as I might, showing up on time has always been my downfall. Eventually, I came to assume I was ‘just one of those people’. I was habitually late and there was nothing I could do about it.
Until one day, I showed up late for work... except this was the second day in a row. My employer (who I really liked and is now a family friend) sat me down and respectfully, but sternly told me how my punctuality was extremely important. When I was late, I made her late. Without raising her voice or belittling me, she opened my eyes to my inconsiderate punctuality habits. From then on, I vowed to change my ways.
I’d heard the typical “wake up earlier” advice countless times. However, I found the most significant difference came when I implemented these lesser-known strategies. And while I’m still late for certain things, I am confident that if I need to be on time, I will be.
Prep everything you can beforehand.
Sage advice, for sure. Make sure your bag, lunch and any other items are ready to go the night before. Save yourself the last-minute scramble of locating your runaway belongings. You may also find it helpful to have your breakfast prepped!
Set an alarm… or several.
Use your phone or smartwatch to set alarms for yourself and not just a wake-up alarm. Set an alarm for when you have to leave and when it goes off? Leave! I set several alarms for myself to ensure I stay on track. I have an alarm for when I should be finished with my workout so I know it's time to move to the next task when it goes off. I also have an alarm that signals the halfway mark of my routine. When it buzzes I think about where I am in my routine? If I am halfway through, then I know I’m on track. If I’m not, then I know I need to pick up the pace.
The beauty of setting alarms is that they go off without your constant vigilance. Instead of checking the clock every 10 minutes, I trust that my alarm will alert me. Therefore I can spend my time getting ready instead of glancing at the clock.
Prioritize the items in your daily routine.
Create a list of the things you ABSOLUTELY have to accomplish. You have to take the dogs out, but you don’t have to watch 30 minutes of Tiger King. Plan your time accordingly to ensure you can accomplish every necessary item and if you have time left over, then feel free to spend time on the less important things.
Determine what it is exactly that makes you late.
There is one main reason I’m habitually late: optimism. Let me explain. I am always optimistic about the number of things I can get done before its time to go. Five minutes until I have to leave? Of course, I can squeeze in a load of dishes! Ten minutes later… and I’m late. On top of that, I simply cannot leave a task in the middle and so instead of doing the dishes for five minutes and then leaving, I insist on finishing the task at hand and consequently, I’m late. The solution? Be realistic with yourself about how much time a task will take before you start it. If it will take longer than you have, either leave in the middle of the task, knowing you will have to leave it unfinished or don’t start the task at all. Save it for when you have more time.
A few other helpful tips:
Use Google Maps or a similar app (Waze is great too) to determine exactly how much time you need to get wherever you’re going. (Remember, your trip time may change based on traffic. If you’re commuting during a traffic-heavy time period, try to run your report around the same time for an accurate time frame.)
Wake up earlier! Even five minutes can give you an extra advantage in the morning and you won’t even miss out on the sleep.
Workout in the morning if you can. Morning workouts really get your blood pumping. I find I am less sluggish and breeze quicker through my routine on the days I workout.
Practice thankfulness. Be thankful you have a job to go to or a school to attend. The simple act of actively appreciating your circumstances can help motivate you to get there sooner (or at least on time)!
What are your go-to tips for arriving on time?
Lots of Love,