By Jordan Yung Khang Lee
Photo by Rodolfo Barreto on Unsplash.
Until recently, I am notorious for being late to almost every appointment, including conferences. The motivation to complete the tasks that I am working on has always led me to overrun the clock – only realising it when I get a notification from my manager. I believe returning to these tasks later is less efficient since the state of my mind would change.
As a consequence, I tend to keep digging down on my work until it is apparent that I was running late. Being unpunctual to morning appointments because of not waking up on time doesn’t feel indifferent to me initially. It appears that many people experience the same situation judging from conversations I have with colleagues and peers.
Knowing the significance of “being on time” has convinced me to be more time-savvy than before, especially when I plan to impress my clients. Latecomers tend to miss the most compelling bits of their life – whether it could be catching a blockbuster movie or even boarding a plane. And that happens routinely to those who don’t practice proper time management techniques! It might sound obvious that being on time requires you to be organised, albeit it is a move that many tend to neglect – and getting themselves into trouble. We allow ourselves to show up late because the event that we are supposed to attend doesn’t feel essential. That mindset will inflict unfavourable consequences on us. So why be late?
There are simple tactics that you can adopt to reduce the tendency of being unpunctual regardless of the grounds. Here are five tips to be on time.
1. Fall in love with a planner.
Use a planner to keep track of any assignments, appointments or notes. Most of us will have a full itinerary throughout the day and putting them into our heads is unbearable. There are many ways to create a planner. For tech-lovers, Google Calendar and Outlook is a conventional choice or even modern software like Notion, and Evernote works too. The benefits of a planner will be apparent when you have a full week of errands and forgetting it beforehand. Set specific deadlines for everything to help you stay on the mark, and kudos to yourself if you managed to do so. Reserve some time on the weekend to plan your week ahead, and you will realise how much things you can accomplish in a single day. Your planner is like a “reminder” machine, and the advantages that follow will be worthwhile.
Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash.
2. Plan ahead for any unforeseen disruptions.
Sometimes, we tend to encounter unpredictable situations such as traffic or road accidents that cause us to be late. These unforeseen scenarios are testing times when our planning skills will be put to the race. Always add 30% – 50% to your estimated time to get anywhere or perform any duties. For instance, if you feel that it takes 30 minutes to attend your first meeting, give yourself 39 – 45 minutes in advance. Not only does it reduce the chances of you being late, but it allows some time for you to get ready for a tiring day. Planning ahead provides more time for you to analyse and make informed decisions in any situations. There would be fewer impulsive judgments made, more contemplation and review, meaning that a long day will pass without a glitch (hopefully!).
3. Keep your “essential” belongings in one place.
Have you confronted a time when you were driving only to realise that your wallet is not with you? It is a personal experience that I underwent when I rushed to leave my house for a meeting. After changing my habits and putting these necessities in one place, I realised that chances of me forgetting them are reduced tremendously. Start this practice by allocating a compartment in your drawer to put your necessities. Items like your wallet, travel card, keys and laptop are some primary essentials that most working adults have. Place them at a designated spot when you return home every day, as you could quickly get them in the morning without worrying. If you want to make your life simpler, put them in your bag the night before you sleep. That way, you will never have an excuse of overlooking any essential items after this.
Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash.
4. Refrain from pressing the “snooze” button every morning.
Do you discover yourself pushing the snooze button multiple times when the alarm rings every morning? And eventually reaching your workplace at 9.30 am, instead of 9 am? Wake up instantly when the alarm rings – don’t give yourself any chance to bring yourself to sleep again!
Oversleeping is caused by not having a night of adequate sleep. Most adults require a minimum of seven to eight hours, while teenagers will need approximately eight hours of sleep. Stick to a proper sleep schedule. Run to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including your weekends. When it becomes a habit, your body will be programmed to wake up the same time every morning, sometimes without an alarm. As creatures of habit, most people find it troublesome adjusting to changes in sleep patterns. Having a specified sleeping pattern will eradicate the issues of not being able to wake up on time – your boss will praise you for that!
5. Ditch any nonessential chores when the time is up.
If you want to erase any last-minute habits, ditch your nonessential chores if you have other priorities. Learn to differentiate between tasks that are urgent and ones that can be put on hold. For instance, do you need to call your friend five minutes before a meeting with the CEO? Or attending a social before your professional examination? Make a purposive attempt to not let any trivial itineraries distract you when more important things are coming up. Put your nonessential tasks at the end of the day when you have more time to relax. Having an opportunity to slow down at night can assist you to be more productive eventually. As working creatures, we need to arrange our schedule according to our working habits and wind down when needed. Any mind-boggling projects should be arranged at the start of the day when you are feeling more energised.
Punctuality should be a requirement, not an option. When you’re on time, you’re able to perform your best with utmost excellence. It flags to others and yourself that you are trustworthy. Use the five tips above to be timely and make a difference in yourself. It is never too late to spot the advantages.
Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash.Tags: business, career, JCI Southampton, JCI UK, leadership, personal development
This post was written by Zoe Toseland