How to Be Punctual

HowtobePunctual_August2011_web We recently showed the benefits of avoiding tardiness. Now that you know why it’s important to be on time, this post will show you some tips and tricks to help keep you on time.

Address The Clock 
In most cases, the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting that it is indeed a problem. In this instance, the problem is being late or missing deadlines. If you find yourself continually rushing, chances are your tardiness is a problem. Take notice of how often you are late and consider the negative implications it can have on your career development.

Be Aware of Your Time
If you don’t already wear a watch, get one. Make sure it is synced with your computer, phone, car, and any other clocks that you’re around. Losing track of time can be one of the biggest reasons you are late. Setting your clocks ahead can be helpful, but be sure you don’t only rely on a clock running early to get you there on time. A true commitment to being on time is required.

Be aware of how long a task will take. When working on a big project consider setting up check points to ensure you will meet the final deadline. If you are working on a deadline driven project this is also the time to conduct research and to seek input to guarantee the best finished product. Keep track of how long it takes you to do tasks like dress for work, walk across your building for a meeting, or drive to a client’s location for future reference.

Be conscious of what you spend your time on. Reading the paper or surfing the Internet can become quick time traps. Just 10 minutes checking emails can quickly turn into half an hour or more. Stick to your allotted times for a given task and move on to the next meeting or project to prevent your day from getting out of control.

Plan Ahead
It’s not a good idea to assume everything will go smoothly. There’s a chance you won’t hit every green light on the way to work, so don’t leave your promptness up to chance. Try adding a 10-minute buffer to allow for the unexpected, along with planning on being 15-minutes early for everything you do. Would it be so bad to be early for things? The benefits outweigh the negatives, and you can always bring paperwork, read a book, or take advantage of your smartphone’s capabilities while you wait.
 
Plus, if you are working ahead of schedule on your projects, it allows time in your day to help out your co-workers or your boss. An opportunity to help others allows you to build your skills and deepen relationships within the workplace, but you need to make sure you have time to do so without harming your own schedule.

Be Ready To Go
Do not hit the snooze button and drift back to sleep. Have you ever taken a nap only to wake up even more tired than before? The same principle applies. Sit your alarm clock across the room if you have to, but resist the urge to hit snooze. Your body will adjust and get used to the new routine and you’ll begin to reap the benefits of getting adequate rest.

Prepare the night before to make your morning go smooth. If you’ve got children consider choosing clothes, gathering schoolwork, and packing lunches the night before to make getting out the door easier. Check to make sure your own work attire is clean and ready to go. Your peers can tell when you were running late and didn’t have time to iron your clothes or fix your hair. 

The first step in being on time is to admit you have a problem with running behind. From there you can start to take control of your schedule.

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