7 Crucial Ways to Improve Your Punctuality if You’re Often Late to Work
As our lifestyles get more hectic by the minute and our to-do lists seem to always be getting longer, there is one thing we are all short on: time. But while being in a rush is commonly – and, often incorrectly – accepted as a sign of productivity and hard work, being late is rarely appreciated!
And, while running a few minutes late can be an endearing personality trait at first, a consistent lack of punctuality can compromise your career and take a toll on your relationships.
Here are a few simple tips to improve your punctuality and get a step closer to that promotion!
Use Time Management Strategies and Be Clear on How Long a Task Will Take
From missing a reminder to running into unexpected complications, there are many reasons for arriving late. But while a one-off incident might be excused, chronic lateness is a negative trait that you need to address by reconsidering your time management skills.
This is especially important if you are always late because you are too optimistic about how long a project will take or how many tasks you can reasonably fit into your to-do list. To change this, consider timing your daily tasks, setting timers for yourself, and be clear on how long it will realistically take you to tick off each item on your list.
Plan Your Schedule – And Your Routine
Planning your schedule ahead of time is essential to understanding what your week will look like, and how to combine your work-related tasks, family activities, and entertainment.
If you have been struggling with crafting a weekly routine, consider these tips:
Schedule tasks and events on your calendar 10 minutes early than the time they are set for
Avoid having to travel during peak times
Use a timer and reminders
Stick to your schedule and don’t compromise on times – there’s always time for a catch-up with a colleague later on!
Set a Goal – And Understand Why Your Efforts Are Important
Changing a habit that’s been engraved in your personality for months or years can be incredibly hard. That is why, without the right motivators, you might struggle to succeed in your goal to become more punctual.
But what should your motivation be?
That’s what you should decide before diving head first into your project so that you can remind yourself of the rewards you’ll get for your efforts, including:
Reducing the stress involved with running later for an important meeting or event
Earning the trust of your co-workers and employer
Showing confidence, discipline, and humility
Displaying excellent organizational skills
Looking to stand out at work and get the corner office? There is nothing quite as important as honing your time management skills!
Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
If you are always late to the office because you struggle waking up in the morning, it might be time to review your bedtime and morning routine! Up to 19% of the adult population in America struggles with sleep problems – but this doesn’t mean that your condition should be used as an excuse to be late for work!
Instead, there is plenty that you can do to improve your sleep quality and focus on safeguarding your sleep hygiene, including:
Set an alarm for the same time every day and stick to the same sleeping time
Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day to reduce sleep issues
Address underlying medical conditions such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Insomnia
Avoid light-emitting screens, caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals before bed
Take melatonin supplements to reset your sleep-wake cycle
Create an optimal sleeping environment by regulating temperature, noise, and light.
Prepare in Advance and Account for the Unexpected!
If you are often running late, the chances are that you are also often finding yourself blaming external factors and using some of the most common excuses for being late to work, such as a packed metro line, heavy traffic, or bad weather. But remember that your colleagues who can make it on time are not immune to these stressors either!
The difference is all in how you plan for an event – no matter whether the event in question is taking your little ones to school or presenting at an 8 am meeting!
For example, consider preparing your material the night before, including notes, folders, your laptop, and a notepad. Choose your outfit in advance too and make sure you have all the accessories you need ready to go.
Lastly, go the extra mile and check the weather, traffic forecast, and route to make sure to avoid as many unexpected events as possible.
You Can Always Make the Most of Waiting Time
If you wish to add an extra safety net for an important event, add 25% to the time estimate you have crafted. For example, if you have planned that it will take you 20 minutes to drive from home to the office, leave home around 25 minutes before the start of your work shift.
And don’t worry about making it there too early – there is always something you can do while waiting. For example, you could find a new spot to enjoy your morning coffee or catch up with your emails.
Reconfigure Your Lifestyle
Being at the mercy of a schedule that isn’t yours won’t help you to thrive in the long run! If you are consistently late because of pre-existing responsibilities like an adult or child care, or you feel more comfortable working from home because of anxiety problems, you will have to address the problem at its root.
In this case, consider talking to your employer to find an arrangement that works for both of you and allows you to make the most of your talent and productivity.