Regularly arriving late to appointments and meetings can make you stressful, and people around you may start to wonder if you can be relied on. Perhaps you would like to be on time everywhere and never be late, but punctuality is not inherent in everyone. But you can avoid procrastination and lateness by changing your habits and attitude towards punctuality. After reading this article, you will learn about simple tricks and long-term methods that will allow you to become more punctual.
Method 1 of 3: Ways to Get Out Early
Step 1. Prepare everything the night before
When determining the reasons for your persistent tardiness, see what happens before you leave the house. You are probably wasting extra time getting ready to go out and trying to complete several tasks at the same time, including unnecessary ones. If you prepare everything you need in advance, you will not forget anything, and you will not have to rush in search of anything you need just before leaving. Remember every night what you have planned for the next day and try to prepare ahead of time.
- Prepare the clothes you plan to wear.
- Complete all the tasks without delaying them until the morning: write and send out emails, print documents, and so on.
- Put everything you need for the next day in your bag or briefcase.
- Prepare everything you need to prepare a quick breakfast, or save yourself the trouble of preparing breakfast altogether by boiling, for example, oatmeal in the evening.
Step 2. Put everything you need at the exit
Many people are late because they spend too long looking for keys, mobile phone, charger or wallet at the last moment. If you put these and other items you need on a table or in one drawer at the exit, you will not be looking for them in the morning.
- If you leave your keys on the nightstand in the hallway in the evening, your wallet in the bedroom, and your mobile phone on the kitchen table, then in the morning you will spend too much time searching for them. In a rush, you will probably forget something important and have to return home, which will delay you even more.
- When you come home, put everything from your pockets in one place at the front door every time. If you keep everything you need in your purse, put it in the same place.
Step 3. Create a permanent place for all the necessary things near the front doors
Every time you plan for the next day, put everything you need in this place. By accustoming yourself to this practice, you will save a lot of time, since you do not have to scour the house in search of necessary things before leaving.
You can go further, leaving everything you may need in the car in advance
Step 4. Think in advance about possible delays
Late, you can think of many explanations for this: got stuck in a traffic jam, the train was delayed, or even had to call at a gas station. However, if you take into account all the factors in advance, you can arrive on time, despite them.
- Please note that many situations arise quite often. Traffic jam in a car tunnel is not such a rare thing, which happens once or twice in a lifetime. Consider possible situations that may delay you so that they do not lead to being late.
- Eliminate unnecessary delays such as driving to a gas station. Refuel your car the night before. Eat breakfast at home before going out to avoid stopping by the roadside café when you get hungry.
- Check the traffic and weather conditions before leaving, and leave early to have some time in case of an emergency. Remember that bad weather can hold you back. Schedule your time so that you have a reserve.
- In cold weather, add five to ten minutes to clear frost, snow and ice from the vehicle.
- If you are going by bus, find out the route and schedule, and, just in case, stock up on money for a taxi.
- If you are not alone, always have a backup plan of action!
Step 5. Train yourself to start 15 minutes early
If you have to be at your workplace at 8:00, don't even think about arriving at the entrance to work exactly at this time. Instead, you should say to yourself, "I have to be at work at 7:45." This way you will not be late even if something delays you for a while. Even a small congestion on the road will not hurt you. In those cases, when you do not encounter anything unexpected and show up 15 minutes early, you will earn the honor as an enthusiastic worker.
Almost everywhere, wherever you go, take something with you to read during those short moments when you are not busy with anything. It will be easier for you to come earlier if you can read a couple of pages in those 10-15 minutes before the meeting / event. This will make you feel like you've done something useful (and indeed you did) while waiting for the start
Step 6. Always keep your time ahead
If you prepared everything in advance, left as planned, there were no unexpected delays on the way, but you were still late, then you underestimated the time required for the trip. Optimists often play down times, hoping they can get to their destination fairly quickly. Unfortunately, this leads to delays! Be realistic about travel time and you will be more punctual.
- Sometimes it is difficult to determine in advance how long the journey will take. If you are going to an important meeting, such as a job interview, you can travel in advance by car or train to your destination. This way, you will find out how long it takes to get there, and you will be able to leave in such a way as to arrive on time.
- Remember to add 15 minutes each time for contingencies. If you think the journey will take 40 minutes, leave the house 55 minutes before the meeting.
Method 2 of 3: Developing Appropriate Habits
Step 1. Wake up immediately when you hear the alarm sound
Do not hit the snooze button while in bed or watch TV in the morning. You probably weren't going to waste 10-15 minutes lounging in bed when you made up your daily routine. Getting up later than you intended, you shift all subsequent events to a later time, affecting your schedule. Extra minutes in bed will disrupt your daily routine, so get up without delay.
- To get out of sleep as soon as possible, exercise, wash, and brush your teeth.
- If you can't get up on time, you may be going to bed too late. Try to fall asleep earlier and it may help. This will make it much easier for you to get up on time in the morning, feeling alert and ready for action. It usually takes about eight hours to sleep well.
Step 2. Check again how much time it actually takes you to complete your daily tasks
For example, you might be glad that it only takes you 15 minutes to shower, from 6:30 am to 6:45 am. But what about the time you spend before and after taking a shower directly? It's possible that you actually spend 20 or even 30 minutes in the bathroom, which is why you can't finish at 6:45. So think about everyday things and try to estimate how much time you spend on them.
Observe yourself for a few days to estimate how much time is spent on your daily activities. Using a stopwatch, record the time you spend on various activities throughout the week, then average the readings and you will find out how much time you spend on a particular activity
Step 3. See what you are wasting your time on
What is most often stopping you from leaving the house on time? These "temporary NSe funnels "(for example, you are distracted by checking your e-mail, curling your hair for too long, or stopping on the way to work for a coffee) we do not notice very often, but they can ruin all our plans for the day.
When you find such an activity, try to rebuild so that it takes up less time. For example, try to fluently check your email in the morning without being distracted by surfing the Internet
Step 4. Set the alarm at an earlier time
Put it on 5 minutes earlier than the time you need. Thus, you will provide yourself with 5 minutes of reserve.
Step 5. Write down where and what time you need to be
For example, if at 8 am you have to leave your home for work, tell yourself: "now it is 7:20, I have to be in the shower"; "It's 7:35 now, I have to brush my teeth." This way you can better keep track of the time. It's also helpful to think about your morning schedule so that it becomes a habit.
Create and print your morning routine. Place it prominently in your bedroom, study, kitchen, and other places where you need it
Step 6. Don't overload your schedule
Perhaps you are often late due to the fact that you plan too much and do not have time to complete everything on time. Review your schedule and make sure the different tasks are timed separate. NSat intervals sufficient for moving, resting, eating breaks, and the like.
Step 7. Surround yourself with objects that remind you of the exact time
If you often forget about time and are late, you may be missing hours. If you do not wear a wristwatch, keep your mobile phone close at all times. A wall clock is also useful, on which you can easily see the time. Check all your watches periodically to set the correct time.
- Use timers, alarms, and other alarms throughout your work day. For example, you can set an alert on your mobile phone to alert you to another classroom or meeting in 10 minutes.
- Some people deliberately set their watches a few minutes earlier so as not to be late. You can also use this trick if it suits you, but many take into account the fact that their hours are in a hurry, and as a result, they are still late. Knowing the exact time will help you stay on track and stay punctual.
Method 3 of 3: Changing Your Attitude Toward Punctuality
Step 1. Recognize that you are the person who finds it difficult to be punctual
By being late regularly, you can come up with many explanations for this. Some of them will be quite compelling: for example, you are late for a meeting due to a flat tire, or you are prevented by an hour-long traffic jam caused by a snowstorm. However, if you have to constantly look for excuses for your lateness, it is probably a matter of yourself and your habits. Like any other problem, you cannot solve this problem by denying its existence.
- If you are not sure if your tardiness is permanent, ask your family and friends if they think you are a punctual person. They are unlikely to answer in the affirmative if you are regularly late.
- However, don't get hung up on the fact that you lack punctuality. According to a study in San Francisco, 20 percent of Americans experience the same problem.
Step 2. Notice how others feel about your lateness
Of course, you want to be on time everywhere, and if you are late, you sincerely regret it. But if you are late again and again, people will think that you are not paying enough attention to them. Your lateness makes them waste time waiting. It looks like you value your time more than theirs, even if you really don't.
- Think about your reaction to someone being late. Do you like sitting alone in a restaurant for half an hour, waiting for a friend to arrive late?
- And finally, your constant tardiness will undermine the faith of others in your reliability and create a negative impression on them not only of your punctuality, but of you in general.
Step 3. Find other ways to give adrenaline rush
Do you get excited trying to cheat time itself and be on time? It's like a gamble in which you win by arriving on time. However, this habit can play a bad joke on you if you lose too often. If you enjoy competing against time, try not to be late for meetings and events and try other ways: start playing computer games for a while, go jogging or hunting, or - if you really lack adrenaline - parachuting.
Step 4. Make punctuality one of your strengths
This trait does not seem as significant as honesty and sincerity, but it is directly related to these important qualities. When you say that you will come at a certain time and do not keep your promise, is this not a lie? If this happens over and over again, others will think about whether you can trust your words. Take punctuality as seriously as you take your promises. Try not to be late and you will earn people's trust.
- Consider the times in which you are least punctual. If you are often late for meetings with certain people, or show up for some lectures 15 minutes late, these people and lectures may not be that important to you.
- Try to spend more time doing things that really matter to you. Concentrate on them and you will be less late. When you're doing something interesting, it absorbs your attention, which promotes punctuality.
Step 5. Think about the benefits of punctuality
After a few weeks of making less difficult adjustments to your habits and ways of thinking, you will be much less late, after which you will earn a reputation for being punctual and begin to reap the rewards of your efforts. Here are just a few examples:
- You will experience much less stress, and you will not have to constantly apologize for being late.
- Perhaps, by stopping being late for work, you will achieve professional success.
- Your privacy will also improve as people see they can rely on you and begin to trust you.
- If you are usually punctual, then this, as a rule, will allow you to be late from time to time in the future, since others will think that this happened for good reasons.
- An old military adage says: if you didn't show up 5 minutes early, then you are 10 minutes late!
- Children are really capable of making their parents be late. Not only you, but also your children should follow the above tips. Their clothes must be ready in advance (including coats and mittens); make sure they take a bath the night before, and so on. Take a few minutes before bed to make sure they put their books and notebooks in a bag and place it near the door. Check if there are any permits that need to be signed. If you have a small child, make sure that their diaper bag is always complete. But some obedient 12 year olds can definitely help you!
- Remember one thing: "If you came 5 minutes early, you came on time. If you came on time, then you are late. If you are late, you have a lot to explain."
- If you are taking lunch with you, prepare it the night before.
- Being late is bad for your relationships with friends, work colleagues, and your professional reputation. Even if you are a strong person and know how to smooth out individual delays, they still cause resentment. Detaining people who have planned and prepared in advance for work, travel, eating, entertainment, and so on, you cause general irritation, and the attitude towards you as a person is devalued.
- Remember, your reputation is at stake. Restoring a shaky reputation takes a lot of effort and time.
- Do not deceive yourself into thinking that no one notices your lateness. If you think you’re late for work, school, church, and so on more often than every now and then, rest assured that others have noticed.