I hate lateness when it comes to my day at work, it is one of my pet hates and I try to avoid it at all costs.
23 years ago l heard my first ever boss speaking to a former colleague when she arrived to work
at 8.30am, “if you were catching the 8.30am train you wouldn’t get to the station at 8.30am as the train would have departed, you would be there 5 minutes before – same applies to getting to your desk and being ready to work on time.
Working at Optimum means that we plan and schedule our day sometimes weeks in advance as our job is pivotal around meeting customers and clients alike. Our diaries often run back to back with meetings and phone calls and our time is precious. When someone turns up late to meet with us it can cause a backlash for the rest of our day, if we know about it early we can mitigate our own risk and restructure our schedule.
So what do you do to avoid running late for work, meetings and interviews?
If you’re battling lateness, there is hope. According to the experts at WikiHow, you can avoid procrastination and tardiness by changing your habits and tweaking your routines. Here are some things you can do to turn lateness into punctuality.
Acknowledge that you are a person who is having a hard time being punctual. As with any problem, you cannot fix it if you’re in denial that it’s a problem at all. But if your chronic tardiness is beginning to strain your job and/or your relationships, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge this as a weakness so you can begin to work towards correcting it.
Be conscious of the time.
Keep your watch accurate. For some people, moving up the time on their watch will help them be earlier. For others, they will subconsciously know that the time is wrong and so they just disregard it altogether. It may be helpful to set your watch just two minutes ahead instead of five or ten. This will make you less likely to “factor in” those extra few minutes.
Commit yourself to being 15 minutes early for everything.
If you have to be to work at 8:00, don’t even tell yourself this. Just tell yourself (and everyone else who listens) “I have to be at work at 7:45.” If you do this, you will be on time even with little unforeseen interruptions. You
will be on time even with a traffic jam. And on those rare times that you actually show up 15 minutes early; you will get kudos for being an enthusiastic employee. You can also chat with others who are early and that will make you happy before work!
- Schedule something unimportant right before something very important. If you have an interview at 4:00, plan to meet your consultant or a friend at the coffee shop next to your interview at 3:30. Then, even if you are a little late to meet you will still be poised to pounce on your interview.
- Interview or meeting before work? Pick out your clothes the night before. If you need to bring something with you, set it with your car keys or purse.
- If you are going to some unfamiliar place, look over a map, or even drive there once if at all possible. Have your transportation planned; if you drive, keep your car in good order, if you ride a bus, know the route, and keep cab money on hand in case of emergency. If you are depending on another person for a ride—have a plan B!
Quick thing to remember:-
“If you are 5 minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, then you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”
Lateness is corrosive to good relations with friends, work colleagues and of professional standing. Having a strong personality and being able to smooth over individual instances of lateness still leaves a building resentment. Holding people up who have planned and prepared work generates a cumulative irritation and is devaluing of you personally.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking nobody notices the latecomer. If you think you are more than occasionally late to work, appointments, etc., you can be sure others have noticed too.
Remember your reputation is on the line. The power of showing up is limitless.
In summary – everyone’s time is valuable, so don’t waste it.
Claire Frith – Consultant