How Not to Be Late: Follow These 3 Simple Steps

Have you ever been late for a breakfast meeting or a client call? Did you see the look in your supervisor’s face when you finally arrived after 30 minutes?

Being late seems to be so ingrained in our business dealings that we give allowances of up to 1 hour for people to be late! And if you’re the one waiting for a tardy person to arrive, then you know how ridiculously annoying that is.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s why you should stop being late!

It’s unprofessional. If you are always late for your meetings and your deadlines, you’re shouting to the world “I’m unprofessional!” Professionals appear on time and deliver work on time. People hate dealing with unprofessional people because it wastes time and money.

It compromises your integrity. Integrity means standing by your word and promises even if it hurts. Now, if you say you will complete your project by next month, you better do it on time! Otherwise, people will stop trusting you.

You may lose a client or a promotion. Belate often enough and you will be branded as an unreliable employee or service provider. Naturally, clients will forget about you; your manager will forget your name when promotion time comes.

These are steep price to pay for being late!

If you are always late, STOP! If you always have excuses, STOP! Here’s how to turn Filipino time on its head. Be punctual, be professional and package yourself well.

Change your mindset.

It begins with the mind. When you cultivate the mindset of a professional, you will start acting like a professional. Observe the best people in your organization. Emulate them. Ask them about their habits and their lifestyles. Then start thinking of yourself as a professional. As a winner. Then you will be able to make incremental changes to becoming one.

Know your why.

What’s your dream? Is it big enough? What’s your vision?

If you know your vision, you can rearrange your lifestyle to reflect that vision. Now, if you don’t know your vision, you can start thinking and crafting one!

Change your lifestyle.

If you cultivate the mindset, you can improve your lifestyle. Sleep earlier, wake up earlier. Allot some time for personal grooming, reflection and preparation. Give ample time for travel and traffic. If you’re in Manila, then you need to allot at least one hour for travel. If you have to travel for two hours or more, then here’s a blog post on how to make the most of your travel time. Set your wall clock and wristwatch ten minutes advance. I do this at home to help me manage my time better.

Follow a time management system.

Time management is actually a misnomer. It’s better to call it priorities management. You can use the tried-and-tested Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen. or the Pomodoro Technique. Or you can have a simple notebook where you list your tasks for the month, and then for the day. Here’s an ebook on Transformational Time Management. Through a time management system, you can easily insert more tasks within the day and you can make time for relaxation, too!

I use a modified Pomodoro Technique time management, but that’s another post for another time.

Your Turn

What action steps can you recommend to conquer tardiness?

Are you a chronic tardy/late person? Maybe it’s time to change that. Tell us how you conquered your chronic lateness?

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