Are you one of those people who is chronically late? Who always rushes from place to place and leaves people waiting on you, creating tension before you even start? Do you realize that being late is actually a broken agreement, that it says to the person you are meeting “You are not important enough to me to be on time.” It’s unfair, insulting and unprofessional, and that’s so not like you.
How to Be on Time
• Choose and prioritize. Make the decision to be early instead of late. Set your clock 15 minutes ahead, set your phone alarm to beep you 15 minutes before you have to leave and then 5 minutes so that you make it on time. Use whatever little tricks you have to get out the door in plenty of time.
• Plan on delays, in traffic, in elevators, in subways, etc. Life is like that, so build in a time cushion. I have a meeting this morning that takes me 1/2 hour to get to- without traffic glitches. So I will leave at 45 minutes before to give myself a 15 minute cushion. If you’re early, stay in your car and get things done before you go in. Showing up 5 minutes early is fine, 15 is probably too much.
• Call when you are running behind. Demonstrate respect for the person you are meeting. Give them an accurate assessment of when you will arrive.
• Prep for meetings and events the night before. Have everything you need all set to go. That saves scrambling around at the last minute.
• Have one place in your house for keys, cellphones, etc. Leave your keys there. This prevents last minute rushing and looking for lost items.
Once you make the commitment to be on time, you will find the quality of your relationships improves and you will feel better about yourself, instead of guilt and ashamed. You’re capable and competent, you know how to handle this. Just do it and reap the rewards.
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