We have all been there… late, that is. Late to work, late to join a conference call, late to meet your coworker for lunch, you name it. Being late at some point is inevitable, but is it excusable? In some instances, sure, but the more often it happens the more it begins to hurt how people perceive you.
Let’s look at why you want to aim to be on time, or better yet, early.
- Maintain loyalty – When you tell someone you will meet them at a certain time, you are essentially making them a promise. If you arrive later than the mutually agreed upon time, you are breaking that promise. Keep your word.
- Be dependable – Your boss depends on you to be on time so deadlines are met, meetings are held, phone calls are made, the list goes on. When you repeatedly break the expectation of being punctual, it may mean you less dependable in other areas of life as well.
- Avoid stress – Being late is just that, stressful! Running out the door, speeding down the road, forgetting if you shut the garage… it’s all stressful, yet avoidable if you plan ahead.
- Respect others – Be wary of others’ time. Arrive early to make your peers feel like their time is more valuable than yours.
- Act professional – You have a job. One that earns you money, offers promotions and gives you a sense of well-being. It is a responsibility that must be upheld. And, as you get older being late is less acceptable, so get ahead now and make good habits.
To make sure you leave a positive lasting impression here are some time management skills to help you kick it into gear.
- Keep a calendar of dates, times, locations, etc. of all events and activities so you know what’s ahead.
- Don’t overbook yourself! Know what you can handle, it’s better to say “no” now than make excuses for being late, later.
- Get things together the night before work – for example pick out your clothes, make your breakfast and lunch, and set the timer on the coffee machine.
- Set your alarm a few minutes before you actually need to get up so you can plan your day.
- Weather, traffic, construction, accidents – plan for them to extend your commute.
- Keep distractions at bay – after work you will have time to talk to friends, check out social media and plan for dinner. Focus on the work that’s before you.
While it’s definitely important to be on time to work, learning how to pace your time now can greatly improve other parts of your life as well. So practice good habits to make a positive lasting impression!