None of us likes to be late. For some it’s a regular occurrence and for others an occasional happening, yet whatever the reason lateness is one of the things that will usually come near the top in any survey of irritating or most annoying habits, either socially or in the workplace.
It can reflect on us as an individual, an employee, a jobseeker or a friend, and quite often is the cause of much unnecessary stress.
Sometime it can’t be helped, but if it’s happening to you more often than not then here are 4 tips to try and get you back on time:
Know your Time Bandits
Any time management training will start with you identifying your time bandits – those things you do which eat into your time, distract you or take your concentration away from the job in hand. For some it will be e-mails, for others web surfing or social media, possibly gossip or coffee breaks.
Sometimes it’s tough to admit what it is – it may be something you really enjoy and can’t imagine not doing. But you do need to be tough with yourself and understand how time bandits eat into your time and impact on getting other things done.
How Long Does your Routine Take?
Whether it’s getting ready to leave the house in the morning, or preparing yourself for an important meeting or interview, the chances are that many of us under-estimate how long it takes us to get ready.
You need to time yourself and see how long your routine takes. If it’s leaving the house in the morning, then you may need to prepare breakfast, or iron your clothes, the night before. If it’s before a meeting, then maybe you haven’t prepared yourself well enough. Scrambling around at the last minute to find an important document, or your CV, will take up valuable time!
Learn to Say No!
How often are you ready to start doing something, or to leave to go somewhere, and then get asked to lend a hand, or finish off a job? Too often! It could be family, friends, colleagues or a boss – you feel bad saying you can’t help even though it will make you late for something else.
Learn to say NO! As Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management from the Inside Out said in an interview “Not having the skills to say no to other people can make you late by different amounts of time”.
Don’t Be Scared to Be Early
Sometimes we don’t like being early so we try to time things to arrive on the dot…but it never really works out that way. Maybe it’s an interview and arriving too early will leave you waiting and may make you feel nervous? Or you try to get to the station just in time for the train to save hanging around?
In the long run it pays to arrive early. As we often under-estimate our journey or preparation times then try and aim for 10 minutes early, but have something with you help pass the time – a book or magazine, or possibly even catching up on personal admin on your phone. As long as it’s something you enjoy doing then it should help eradicate any anxiety from waiting.
Let us know if you have any tips or ideas for never being late.