When did it become okay for people to be late to everything? I consider being on time really important because it shows respect for others when you show that you value your time – not to mention, it’s just good manners! It seems to me like society has decided that certain situations (job interviews, movies, etc) warrant showing up exactly on time, but for everything else the time is just a guideline.
I had a close friend who was always late to everything and it drove me nuts! I would tolerate it because she was my friend but I really hated it. I think it’s inconsiderate – and it’s totally just not how I operate! If I say I’m going to call you at 11, I will call you at 11 on the dot! Some might say that’s “too punctual” or “old-fashioned,” but I think being on time is the easiest way to show someone whether or not you respect them and their time.
If you’re someone who can never seem to do things on time, try one of these tricks:
1. Set alarms on multiple devices – Whether you are in college or in the workforce, lateness excuse number 1 is always “I slept through my alarm.” Enough of this! While situations like getting a cold may make you an unusually deep sleeper, if you know that you’re someone who doesn’t wake up easily then set every device you have to wake you up. Period, the end.
2. Trick yourself into thinking it’s later – I had a professor in college who combatted chronic lateness by setting all of his clocks and watches to 23 minutes late. The number was so obscure that he couldn’t easily do the math to figure out the real time, so he grew to treat that as the real time. With that method, he was always on time, even when he was a few minutes “late!”
3. Expect the unexpected – Traffic and delays can happen at any time. A major mistake a lot of people make when they have to travel a long distance or to somewhere unfamiliar is that they don’t add to the travel time. Factoring in potential delays will ensure that road work or a cancelled train won’t prevent you from making it on time.
4. Prepare the night before – The less you have to do in the morning, the better. We tend to move slower as we wake up in the morning, causing even the most routine tasks to take longer than they should. The more prep work you do the night before, the more likely you are to leave on time.
5. Jump out of bed – Seriously. The second your alarm rings, it can be so tempting to turn it off and roll over to “slowly” wake up. Starting your day with a little momentum sets you up for a productive day. As an added bonus, the rush of adrenaline may even help you skip that first cup of joe.
6. Set reminders – Reminders are great for things that need to happen right away. I like to set reminders in my phone for things like when I’m supposed to leave (instead of when I’m supposed to be somewhere) or when I’m supposed to call someone.
7. Learn from your mistakes – Sure, even if you are prepared lateness can happen. In those situations, use the experience to be more realistic about how long it takes to “quickly stop for coffee” or adjust your travel route.