If you struggle with being on time you know the panicked feeling that comes when you are late and the need for effective time management skills. The uncomfortable and often awkward moment when you arrive disheveled and apologetic for being tardy and having to ask for forgiveness. Being late can give you a bad reputation and cost you respect.
Being late doesn’t mean you don’t care about being on time it just means you need greater time management skills. Often, it’s the result of being unprepared, overwhelmed, and sometimes easily distracted. Good time management isn’t just for mythical perfect people who seemingly don’t have real-world problems like screaming, uncooperative children, and dogs that dart out the door. Everyone deals with the same types of issues; some just develop micro habits that help them avoid being late.
Effective Time Management Skills That Keep You on Time and on Track
If you struggle to be on time, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the chance of being late. Try any or all of these tips to help keep you focused.
Tip: Identify your time thief – Everyone has a thief that steals their time. For some it’s scrolling through social media, for others it’s underestimating the time it takes to get ready or be somewhere. Everyone has a habit that contributes to their poor time management skills. Identify your particular time thief/thieves so you can concentrate on making changes.
Tip: Use a prompt- Your smartphone does more than host social media and makes calls. You can easily use your alarm to set reminders to help you stay on time. Create a micro habit to set prompts that give you 15 or more minutes warning in case you find yourself easily distracted. Sometimes a simple prompt is all you need to stay on track. It also helps to prompt your family to help them stay focused when you need to leave on time. Reminding children in 15-minute increments before needing to leave can help.
Tip: Centralize your gear – Be sure to centralize things you need so you don’t waste time hunting for things on the way out of the door. Create a micro habit to keep keys, wallet, phone, and other gear in a specific location so you can grab-n-go without thinking about where each item is.
Anyone Can Be on Time Most of the Time
Honestly, everyone is going to be late sometimes. On the off chance you know you are going to be late, it’s always best to reach out and communicate. Calling ahead and letting people know you are going to be late can reduce the impact being tardy has. Offering to reschedule or simply letting them know you’re running late is proper etiquette and can help keep you from giving off the vibe you aren’t respectful of their time.
If you are looking to work on your time management and need structure please check out our time management online course.