I have a friend that’s always running late. Whether we are meeting for a social engagement, or he needs to report to work at a certain time, he hardly ever makes it in time.
It is very infuriating always having to wait for him or even being disappointed when he screws up important appointments. Are you this person?
Are you always running late? Are you always the last person to get into meetings and shuffle everyone up when they’re already settled?
If you’re this person, first note that it is a very disrespectful habit as it shows you don’t respect the time of others.
Secondly, it can interfere with your professional life such that at work or in business, you are perceived as an unprofessional person and people will hesitate to allocate your responsibilities.
How can you become better at time management?
Schedule events for longer than you think they’ll take
If you think a drive to your meeting point will take 30 minutes, leave an hour before. Don’t leave exactly 30 minutes before the meeting time. One weakness of people who struggle with time management is because they underestimate timings and the time it takes to get things done.
If you think it will take you 10 minutes to get ready, start getting ready 20 minutes before you need to leave. Learn to allocate more time to events, because, you never know. The drive to your destination could be 30 minutes long but what if you find some extra traffic that day?
What if it takes you longer to find a parking spot? Learn to always overestimate the time it will take to get things done and you’ll be surprised you have some time to spare.
Think about the other person
Think about the other person or people you’re going to meet. Think of them and how boring and disappointing is going to be for them to get there and then have to wait for you for a whole hour.
The people who keep time think that those who don’t have any respect for their time and this is very offensive. They think that you don’t care well enough when you don’t keep time and have no trouble wasting theirs. This means they trust you less every time you show up late.
It’s always better to be early
There is no harm being early. In fact, I find that when I am running late is when things go wrong. There is extra traffic or even an accident on the way, there are no available parking spaces, everyone seems to be moving so slowly and you can even cause an accident in the rush.
Why not be early? If you’re meeting someone at a café, you can even take out your laptop and catch up with some work, bring along a book, check your social media as you wait or even call someone you’ve been meaning to call.
Don’t start other activities before the main activity
Most of the people that are always running late say they got involved in another activity which took longer than they thought. If you know you have to be somewhere, try not to start another activity that could distract you.
Don’t start watching an episode, or doing laundry, finishing off some work or answering some emails first. Most time, you’ll underestimate the time these activities will take and before you know it, you’re already late.
Why not save the activities for later? I am not perfect, but I hardly schedule activities knowing I need to go somewhere later. If I need to do something before I have to be somewhere, I specifically wake up very early to get it done then head off to my meeting.
Schedule your important activities
One reason that people run rate is that sometimes they forget they should be somewhere. Keep a schedule of places you have to be and if possible, set a reminder.
This will keep it at the back of your mind that you have something to attend to and as a result, you set your mind to make the appointment and in time.
Do you have some time management tips? Please share with us!