It’s very rare we really think about this during our day. But how many times have you turned up late for work maybe at 9:10 am hoping no one would notice? And you can feel your colleagues scrunching their nose up at the stigma attached to latecomers. Arriving early for almost everything has its advantages and the most important is perception. Those who are early to appointments and meetings are seen as the organized, the smart people, and the ones who prioritize – even if they might not be.
Here are 4 tips to ensure you’re never late for work again:
Get out already
We seem to really struggle getting out the door; the chaotic panic turns messy rush can be difficult to tame. Try this. Place all the items you’ll need the following morning in the same place, in your bedroom, so you don’t need to think about them in the morning. This includes your phone, wallet, and keys. These are the essentials. Other ‘Nice to have’ items should be in an easy reach location. I like to keep items such as sunglasses, hat, scarf, earphones, and my watch in a box near my front door, it prevents any hunting before I leave.
Top tip: take 10 minutes out of your day to ensure all your clocks have the same time and if you don’t have a clock in the bathroom, I highly recommend you get one! Those millionaire thoughts keep us in the shower for longer than they should.
Make a habit of grabbing the things you need and setting them in place the night before. The less prep you need to do in the morning, the better your day will be. This is a life tip rather than just a punctual one – the morning should be about you getting in gear to tackle the day mentally; not for thinking about them meeting notes, you forgot under your coffee table the night before.
Always take into account the time to walk to your mode of transport; whether it be car, train, or helicopter (hey, there’s a chance I might have a billionaire reader somewhere on here).
This is often overlooked, if you live in apartments, what about the time to get a lift? Or take the stairs?
If you forget your phone, wallet, or keys; go back, you’ll need them today! Anything else, let it sit. You’ll have to make do without it. The earphones aren’t as important as you think – be creative without comforts.
If traveling by car, make it a habit to fill up your car the night before you need to. I personally like to fill up with the same amount every Thursday evening; I put in 40 liters regardless of what’s in the tank. That way I’m prepared for anything – never leave it to the morning – they always turn out to be the most hectic.
10 minute principle
If you’re not at least 10 minutes early, you’re late. Simple.
Being 10 minutes early gives you time to park up in that awkward parking spot. It gives you time to grab a quick breakfast. Time to grab an Americano and a Nutri grain bar.
By the time you’re at your desk and working your way through your emails, some people are only just about getting into the office. They’re fumbling over their umbrella, rushing to the toilet, and queening by the hot water tap. Don’t be that person.
There’s always a test
I have a challenge for you. Take the stopwatch app on your phone. Start it from the moment you intend to leave the house. The time taken to say goodbye to your family, start your car, travel to work, and stand outside the entrance of your workplace, is how long it Actually takes you to get to work.
You’ll be surprised at how much longer this is to what you originally thought it would be. Fortunately, though, this number is fixable.
Use the steps above to improve the amount of time it takes you to get to work, with practice. We’ve all heard of the saying where a habit manifests itself into a person’s lifestyle once they practice it for at least 21 days. Implement the small changes for a better morning and pleasant commute.