There are those that are chronically late. It doesn't matter the occasion. They come strolling into work, without a care in the world, with their Starbucks double latte and you're already 25 emails in. Then there are those that are occasionally late, walking into a yoga class 5 minutes after it started trying not to disturb everyone's deep meditation moment. Regardless I think we can all gain from some tips on how to curb the lateness factor because there happens to be some major advantages to being on time. Like not feeling awkward when trying to find a spot to put your yoga mat (yes I've been there). Texting has become our little get out of jail free card when we are punching the clock. All we have to do is send a quick text. For example, "ugghh traffic is brutal, running late" or "sorry, lost track of time, see ya soon". Let's admit, much easier than making an actual phone call. You know dialing a number and speaking into the phone and yikes having to verbally communicate why you're late. I get it. That's so ten years ago. But what's actually making us late? Why are we sometimes spending more time strategizing reasons to come up with why we're running late than just trying to actually be on time?
Avoid the Lateness Domino Effect
Maybe you like to enjoy some coffee in the morning and catch up on reading some of your favorite blogs before heading to work. Actually great advice to allow for ease before your day begins. However if you find that it's 7:30 and you're still in your pjs and have to leave the house by 8 suddenly you're in panic mood. Panic mood causes a domino effect. It throws you off your game. You're rushing, trying to decide what to wear. You get in your car and feel anxious while heading in. The rest of your day may be met with the same anxious energy. Instead set that alarm earlier and make the time for yourself. Be conscious of how much time you are spending on certain tasks that are causing you to run late. If you aren't willing to cut some of those tasks out then adjust your schedule accordingly.
Get Organized for Better Daily Flow
I recently did a segment on The Rhode where I talked about having your children's outfits set aside on a Sunday night for the upcoming week. That may seem overly ambitious however the better organized you are in advance the more time you are going to have in your day. Whether it's food prep, clothing prep or even making a list the night before your day begins to get your thoughts in order it will all help you save some major time. It's sounds basic and simple, because it is. Small tasks, big impact when saving time.
Take a good look at unorganized areas in your home that may be causing a delay as well. Running late because you can't find your keys? Designate an area by the door to act as station for the last moment before you head out. Be mindful of where you are leaving items that you use daily and keep them stored together in one central location.
Procrastination in some ways can be a good thing. If it is a decision we need to ponder over no worries there. However if we tend to procrastinate when it's time to get ready this can result in a cycle of chronic lateness. Sometimes procrastination is simply things that cause distraction. Scrolling through Facebook, Netflix marathons, both perfectly fine but not ten minutes before it's time to leave for an appointment twenty minutes away.
No is a complete sentence.
Sometimes we're running late simply because our schedules are maxed out. Timing is everything. The ability to say no to invites when you are feeling exhausted is key. If the idea of running from work out to dinner just makes you want to run into your bed, that's indicator that saying no is ok. Trying to squeeze in too many appointments and plans leaves no room for actually enjoying those plans. If you need a power nap before heading out to a movie with a friend and find yourself struggling to get ready just say no. Our downtime is important to keep us recharged and on time.
Use Your Schedule
Prioritize that schedule of yours around your most important tasks, and the leave the rest to fend for itself. By zoning in on what we need to accomplish and finding the time to do so we stay consistent, which causes a nice flow. Once we are in flow we can make it through the week with some confidence that we won't be scrambling to complete things at the last minute, which inevitable causes a slowdown in our schedule. Set alerts in your phone 10 to 15 minutes prior to when you have to start getting ready for an appointment, or even prior to when it's time to leave. If nothing at all the alerts will keep you on your toes and able to get ahead of schedule.