A few months ago I wondered when it became acceptable for people to be late to everything. Poor timekeeping is such a pet peeve for me, probably because I work in an industry where time is extremely important. When someone is late, it makes me feel like my time isn’t valued. I admit, sometimes I feel guilty for judging these latecomers, it’s not always their fault. We all forget sometimes or get stuck in traffic. But rather than just accepting the problem and moving on, we could all be better off by making the extra effort to be on time.
With that in mind here are some tips to help you always be on time for your appointments:
Use Technology – Almost everyone has a smartphone, so there’s no need to stress yourself out trying to remember everything. Just get technology to do it for you. Whenever I set up an appointment, the first thing I do is add it to my calendar. If I can’t add it in right then, I put a note on my to-do list to import that appointment on my calendar. At the same time, I input directions to the meeting so I know in advance how long it will take me to get there. Additionally, if I set a meeting several weeks in advance I like to set a reminder for the day before so I’m not blindsided.
Use Post it Notes – Every now and again, technology fails us. Be prepared for the worst and leave yourself notes about upcoming appointments around the house. Try to leave notes by things you use often, like in the cutlery drawer or on the coffee machine. Your significant other might be a little confused when they find a note saying ‘DENTIST!’ in the sock drawer, but at least you’ll make it to your appointment.
Aim to catch a particular bus/train – The night before your appointment check the transport schedule online and make a note of the time for the train you plan on taking. Not only does this stop you missing a train by a minute, but most transit websites will also let you know if there are delays. Even if you plan on catching a taxi it can be good to know your public transport options in case of really bad traffic.
No more “Just one more thing” – I know what you’re thinking –“I’ll just quickly send this email, and then I’ll just quickly fold some of this laundry.” No! Stop! Starting “just one” new task as you’re getting ready to leave for an appointment is disruptive to your schedule and often takes over your initial goal of leaving on time. Make leaving for your appointment a priority.
Find out what works best for you – Ask a punctual person how he always manages to be on time and you’ll hear 101 different and quirky timekeeping methods. So try out everything – no matter how bizarre – and eventually you’ll find something that works for you!
What’s your method for always getting to a meeting on time?