Some people are always late now matter how much time they have to get ready. They are late no matter how important the event. Birthdays, celebrations, meetings, dinners, graduations, even their own weddings! You think to yourself when they show up, “what can I do to help them you manage your time and improve punctuality?”
Lateness. It is one of my biggest pet-peeves. No, it is actually my biggest one.
I can’t stand it when people are ALWAYS late.
Things happen that you have no control over. An accident on the highway, trains cancelled or not running, can’t find anything to wear…. LOL ok, that doesn’t count.
Arriving to everything late is a whole other matter.
Do you have that one friend or family member who can never seem to arrive anywhere on time?
Or are you the one who is punctually challenged? Have you ever wished you could break the pattern? If so, this post will help you change.
Punctuality may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is a big deal to the people waiting for you.
Remind yourself that being punctual as a matter of good etiquette. Is it time for a punctuality makeover?
If you are chronically late, you are creating a reputation for yourself and not the best one at that. People feel they can’t trust you or rely on you because they are unsure if you will show up when you say you will.
Being late is inconsiderate while being on time expresses respect toward others.
You cannot restore the time other people have lost waiting for you.
If you have OCD or know someone with OCD, you know being late can send anxiety levels through the roof.
To stop being late, you need to manage your time and improve punctuality. Pinpoint why you’re a perpetually late person.
Do you arrive late to work every day, but blame situations instead of yourself? Traffic was slow. Arrived late to your best friend’s wedding? You simply had a lot going on that day. Oh my!
When someone calls you out about being late, you dismiss them as inconsiderate, get irritated, angry – what’s the big deal, anyway?
I am a punctual person. If I have to be somewhere at 14:00, I arrive at 13:50. If I am late, I am there at 14:00 on the dot.
I want no one waiting on me.
It doesn’t matter if I am up at 05:00 or at 06:30, if I need to be out of the house by 07:15, you best believe I’ll be ready and out of that door at 07:15.
Sure, I hit the snooze button and drift back to sleep. All that means is neither a second cup of coffee nor checking emails before heading out the door.
Here Are Five Ways To Help You Manage Your Time And Improve Punctuality
1. Always Be Prepared
Expect Murphy’s Law. Traffic on the way to work? Yup, it’ll happen. A detour or diversion on your usual route? You can bet on it.
Little one spilling juice on their clothes right before heading out the door? Of course! Always be ready.
Being prepared to manage your time and improve punctuality includes organizing your space.
Keep things like cell phones keys, bags, wallet, etc. in the same place so you won’t end up wasting time looking for them when you are heading out the door.
Organize your notes and materials in advance so that all you have to do is grab them when you need them.
Prepare as much as you can the night before.
- Lay out your clothes
- Pack your bag for the next day
- Plan your meals
- Get your documents together
This won’t take you more than 10 minutes in the evening but could save you thirty minutes to an hour in the morning.
2. Trick Yourself
Why not trick yourself when it comes to meetings, appointments and events? Enter items in your calendar with an entry that is 15 minutes earlier than the real start time.
That way, even if you are running just slightly behind schedule, you are more likely to make it “on time” because the extra time has been worked into your schedule.
As I said before, punctuality is key for me. All my watches and clocks in our home are five minutes ahead of the actual time.
“Stop saying you can’t help being late. Being late is not a disease, it is a choice.” Stephanie Nelson
3. Be Honest With Yourself
Ok, did I not just say trick yourself? Now be honest with yourself? Well, which one is it?
It’s both. You will be surprised to know that many people have no idea how long it actually takes for them to get ready! Shocked? It’s true. Some people find it hard to calculate how long it will take them to get showered, dressed, makeup, shoes, handbag etc.
Guess how long it will take you, write it down on a piece of paper, then actually time yourself.
Do you think you would guess just right or be way off?
In Austria, we have a saying “Vorsprung durch Planung!” – which basically means “head start through planning”. When you plan the night before, you will find that you have a head start in the morning, and the rest of your day will likely run smoother.
You are not a superhero, so leave time between your tasks and meeting. Allow yourself both time and space in between meetings.
Never over-schedule yourself.
Trim your schedule. Is your calendar full of promises that you’re trying about to keep but failing?
Try to factor in the time between activities, then add 15-30 minutes for unexpected delays.
In case one meeting runs longer than expected, you will not find yourself overwhelmed, pressured, or worried about being late for the next meeting.
4. Make Punctuality A Priority
Just be on time. Honestly, if you want to be on time and it is a priority for you then you would do it.
When meeting a friend who knows you for being late, you tend not to make punctuality a priority right?
How about if every time you got to work on time your salary was doubled? Would you make it a priority then?
You see, it’s all about value. Ask yourself the following:
“Do I value this person and their time?”
“Do I value this project enough to meet the deadline?”
“Is this event important enough for me to show up on time?”
Making punctuality a priority shows that you actually give a damn.
“If you are chronically late, then you are chronically rude.”
5. Prioritize Your Tasks
Instead of doing a last-minute task that could make you late prioritize your tasks. Set goals.
If you are in the position, delegate some errands and chores to others.
In order to manage your time and improve punctuality, it is essential for you to take care of the items at the top of your priority list first. If you have a deadline you have to meet, work it into your schedule so you don’t miss it.
Acknowledging your bad habits is the first step to changing them.
What Are The Things That Steal Your Time?
- Online Browsing
- Watch TV Shows
- Video Games
Those I believe are the three main things that just suck up time. Sometimes when I plan on getting online to do something, I decide to watch one of my shows, then another, and a third.
Before I know it, three hours of time I could have been working on my blog has gone down the drain.
Anyway, I am pretty well balanced, so whenever that happens, I just tell myself I deserve a little me time. So long as I do not lose focus, or turn up late to places I need to be, then I’m good.
Can you identify what causes you to run behind your planned schedule?
These tips will help you manage your time and improve punctuality.
Know someone who is a perpetual latecomer? Send this article to them.
If you are always late, use these tips to help you stay on schedule.
You can download the Manage Your Time And Improve Punctuality Checklist from my resource library here.
How do you deal with time management? Do you find it easy or hard?
Share your experiences with me in the comments section below.
Have a wonderful and productive week!