Have you recently found yourself getting late to meetings, appointments, interviews, social gatherings, and other important events? Have you ever upset someone, became reprimanded, or lost a good opportunity due to lateness?
While it is impossible to avoid delays from time to time, some of us develop a worrying habit for it. If you are one of those people who have developed poor timing skills, you will find the content in this read to be of massive help. Here are five good tips to turn you into a better time manager.
Agree that Late Arrival Isn’t Acceptable
If you are yet to agree that being late is not okay, then there is no point in reading the rest of this article. Here are some reasons why being late is not Ok:
1. It’s Rude- Being late is a sign of disrespecting the other party. It shows that you had better things to do than show up on time.
2. It Ruins Other People’s Plans- Whether it’s an appointment, meeting or a meet up with friends, being late means that people will have to wait for you. This can affect their plans for the rest of the day or the enjoyment of the planned event.
3. It Ruins Your Own Plans– Lateness not only messes with other people’s plans but yours as well. Arriving late to an interview will affect your chances of landing the job. Getting late for a medical appointment may lead to it getting canceled. If you are always late, people will have a poor perspective on you and get into the habit of starting without your presence. This means missing out on important things.
4. It Leaves Flustered- Being late often results in rushing to your destination and this can leave you tired and unsettled. Also, it can put you and others at risk as you’re more likely to speed or cross the road without looking.
Look Into What Causes You to Be Late
There is no one simple reason why people are always late. According to psychiatrists, there is a range of lateness types, which include:
1. Lateness due to Distractions- This is when you get distracted by something that you should handle later when you’re just about to leave your home or office. Examples include doing the dishes or finishing up a task when you should really be going.
2. Using Lateness for Status- This is used to make an entrance or suggest that you are more important or busier than those waiting for you.
3. Delay due to Anxiety- This is when you are anxious about a meeting or a medical appointment.
4. It is Just Me- If you begin to consider yourself who’s always late, then you will always be late.
5. So much to do, but little time- We shall elaborate this further in our final tip.
Being late due to the above reasons will not improve things. However, realizing why you have this habit is a vital step in addressing the issue.
Watch & Learn
This might seem trivial, but if you do not own a watch, then you’re less likely to be aware of the time. Most individuals depend on their phones for the time, but this usually means taking it out of the purse or pocket. There’s no denying that glancing at your watch is way faster.
If you rely on your smartphone for keeping time, then set the alarm at least 10 minutes before you need to leave your home or office. This should be a good reminder that it is time to leave.
If you always start your day without preparing properly, chances are you will end up wasting valuable time and end up being late to your destination. If you have a couple of places to be, ensure you create a logical schedule instead of going back and forth.
Factor in external elements and work around them. An example is avoiding certain routes when there is heavy traffic or when parents are picking up their children from school. The more time you can save, the lower the chances of arriving late.
Set Realistic Plans
If you attempt to fit too much in a day, chances you’ll end up getting late to one of them. Glance at your schedule for the day and see whether it’s realistic. See more here how to use a scheduling tool to manage your time. Can you remove a task and move it into another day? Are you able to create a break between appointments if one runs over?
If your office sets an unreasonable schedule, it is best to speak to a senior member and ask whether they can reassess your workload. If you are creating your own working schedule, consider if you are subconsciously attempting to create an aura of being busy all the time to avoid the guilt that you may not be doing enough or if you are doing it to impress others.
Also, consider if you might be more productive if you focus on fewer key tasks. Keep in mind that people will still respect you for politely declining some requests, rather than failing, trying to do them all.