Late again? Never quite on time? Always running behind and late for that very important date?
For some timekeeping can be a bit of an issue, a never ending constant that drives yourself and probably those around you just a little bit crazy! With this in mind I thought today I'd share some of my top tips for cracking the trouble with time-keeping that I hope may help those of you finding this a bit of a constant battle.
Being a little late here and there isn't a crime, not the end of the world in daily life and sometimes unavoidable, but when it comes to work and business being punctual is a vital component and an important tool in your box for success. It's also worth noting that for those people who are always on time, having someone constantly running a few minutes late can be more than a bit annoying. If others can be punctual, even when they are equally busy, so can you - it just needs a little thought and preparation.
With this in mind here are five top tips to help you try and break those bad habits and manage your arrival times for important interviews, meetings and events a little more efficiently.
MY TIME-KEEPERS TOP FIVE:
1. Plan ahead. If you have an important interview or meeting then make sure you get your preparation sorted the day or night before. For example, decide what you will be wearing and lay it out ready to go, pre-pack your bag or whatever you need to take with you and make sure you are as ready as possible to get up and get going bright and early the following day. If you are travelling to somewhere you haven't been before then it is also vitally important that you pre-prepare your travel. Check where you're going, check train and travel times - plan your route accordingly and well ahead of time.
2. Set reminders and have the time visible. Whatever kind of calendar you like to use, use it - to your benefit and make sure it helps you when you need it most. Ideally set reminders to go off in good time before you are due to leave so that you are well reminded and have time to wrap up what you're doing and head off in good time. It's also a good idea to have the time very visible to you - it's so easy to get caught up at your desk for example, tapping away and not realise the time. Reminders and a visible time keeping device (!) will help prompt you into action as required.
3. Plan to be early. The likelihood is that if you plan to be on time and are always leaving things down to the very last minute then you will either be just on time or in many cases you will quite possibly be late. If you can plan to be early, leave a little bit more time than usual, then you are factoring in time for things outside of your control like transport issues, not being able to find the venue you are meeting at etc. and will still be on time (or ideally a little early with time to gather yourself before your meeting).
4. Plan meetings accordingly - not necessarily on the hour. This might sound unusual but if you're the one setting the meeting then consider making it at 8:45am or 9:15am for example, and not on the hour. This slightly different thinking and tactic can often help make sure everyone gets to the meeting in good time because they are aiming for something slightly out of the ordinary. If you go for the 15 minute past the hour option you are giving people a bit more time to get to you - then there really aren't any excuses!
5. Finally never forget or underestimate the importance of being on time. Even if you know the person you are meeting and have met them before don't fall into the trap of thinking that it doesn't matter if you're running late. Of course sometimes things happen and it is unavoidable but make this a rarity rather than a constant. This way you won't allow yourself to get back into those bad habits!
So that's my top five tips that I find help me to get to where I need to be in good time without being late or flustered. If you think you might be a bit guilty of fumbling your way to work and meetings of a morning then I hope the ideas above might help you out.
Let me know what you do to make sure you're on time when it's really important?