Are you always running late like the little white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland?
They say punctuality is a clear sign of professionalism, and I’m sure you’ve heard that many times before.
When you’re grown up enough to have your own alarm clock and you depend on it, being late is simply unacceptable.
It may be your own loss if you miss the first ten minutes of class or the dentist appointment or someone’s wedding vows at church.
However, when it comes to work, we’re talking serious business.
Being late not only affects you but also a wide range of stakeholders who have invested in the company. People are going to be mad about even five minutes of lost business. And keeping up that behavior may result in warnings — or worse — a pink slip.
Here are eight ways to avoid the worst and keep your tardiness at bay.
1. Figure out Your Punctuality Busters
First and foremost, it is important to learn why you are always late.
- Do you stay up too late at night and have a hard time waking up?
- Do you have an over-scheduled morning?
- Does it take you too long to commute?
After you have identified your problems, brainstorm ways you could bust those punctuality busters! I’ve got some suggestions below.
2. Change Your Morning Routine
If you roll in late every day, your employer might wonder what it is you do during the morning. And it’s something to ask yourself too.
If you’re one of those people who simply can’t help taking ten minutes to decide what to wear, twenty minutes to shower, another thirty for breakfast, coffee and checking email, and then add some more time for blow-drying, picking shoes and what not, it’s time to change your routine.
For instance, in the scenario above, you could do at least half of your chores the night before (picking out your clothes and ironing them, polishing shoes, etc.). In fact, some tasks could be dropped (checking email) or done at work (taking your coffee to-go).
3. Learn to Say No
Often, people are late because of other people. If your mother calls you every morning to check-up on you, politely tell her to call you at another time.
Learn to say no to text messages, calls, conversations, emails or in-person visits that may cause you to be late for work.
4. Befriend Your Alarm Clock
Is your alarm clock your worst enemy and vice versa? They say if you befriend a camera, the camera befriends you. This true for alarm clocks as well.
Don’t throw it around or hit the “get lost” button every time. Respect its timings and it will give you respect in return.
Make it a habit never to snooze your clock. Many alarms allow you to disable the snooze option. Wake up on the first ring. Even if you miss a day because of this setting, you’ll never hit that button again.
5. Set Your Clocks a Few Minutes Early
This works great for meetings. If you set the time ten minutes ahead on each and every clock you have in your home, you will increase your chances of being fashionably … on time.
Also, learn to accept that as the real time. No cheating!
6. Go to Sleep Early
Many people fail to wake up in the morning morning or arrive at the right time because of their sleeping habits. As mentioned earlier, learn to say no to all distractions. This includes your distractions that prevent you from getting to bed on time.
Figure out why you routinely go to sleep late. If it is a smartphone, tablet or any other device, turn it off and keep it away from your bedside table.
Don’t take short naps after work that mess up your regular sleep cycle. Figure out your ideal sleeping time and allow yourself to be exhausted before it. Then you will sleep well.
7. Get Tough
It’s important to remind yourself why you shouldn’t be late. Sometimes tardiness is the result of a laid-back attitude and lack of fear.
Keep telling yourself the reasons why you need to be on time and the worst things that could happen if you aren’t.
8. Overestimate and Set Margins
Many “punctuality-unfriendly” people have a habit of underestimating the time it takes to dress-up, travel and be at work. Make it a habit of doing the exact opposite.
Overestimate the amount of time it will take you to do your morning chores, get ready, travel to your office, park your car and arrive. You could get stuck in traffic or get an unexpected call in the morning. Always add a margin to every task you routinely do just in case there is a real emergency, change or delay.
If you don’t want to risk your job or your office reputation, set your punctuality straight by implementing these tips into your life.