My best friend and I were once driving into the city for a bachelorette party and ended up in Bayonne, NJ. Yes, you heard that right, we are incredibly directionally challenged. Our detour made us super late to the party and we had no time to hang up the Ryan Gosling, “Hey girl, it’s your bach, let’s get weird,” posters we had made. The party was ruined and that couple is now divorced. Ok, maybe I’m totally lying about that very last part. But, being late can feel pretty life ruining at times.
Being late can often be contributed to two factors: not effectively time managing the things you need to do in order to leave on time and underestimating how long these things actually take to accomplish. And thus many people find themselves being chronically late and starting their day in a frazzled state. Try this scheduling tactic to help you walk out of the house prepared and almost always on time.
Plan backwards from the time you need to arrive at your appointment and or work, for example. Build a schedule with times and time estimates of approximately how long tasks will take. Also include approximately 5 minute buffer times to account for real time distractions along the way. The example below is showing getting to work at 9:00am and fitting a work out in beforehand:
5:25am: Wake up (5 minutes)
5:35am: Change into work out clothes, pick an OnDemand work out to do (10 minutes)
5:50am: Work out (45 minutes)
6:40am: Shower (15 minutes)
7:00am: Get ready (30 minutes)
7:35am: Breakfast and coffee (15 minutes)
7:55am: Leave to get 8:05am train (5 minute walk, 25 minute train ride)
8:30am: Walk to work (10 minutes)
8:45am: You’re Rick Ross because you just arrived to work 15 minutes early LIKE A BOSS
You don’t have to literally write this down everyday. But, if you regularly struggle with being late, it’s a helpful tool to try for at least a week to see specific problems areas or times drains you’re encountering. Try making notes next to your original time estimates to track how long it actually took you to get out of the door and what factors may have derailed you (it’s 7:02 and you emailed me at 7:01 BRENDA, no need for the 7:05 follow up call). Adjust your schedule for the next day accordingly to factor in some buffer time.
Or if you simply just give zero effs about being late, keep this in mind: many people who are timely view those that are chronically late as people who view their own time as more valuable than others. Is this really the impression you want to give friends and family, let alone your Boss, coworkers and clients?
We can’t control all these little factors that aid in making us late. But we can create schedules to gird us against even the craziest time derailments.
What tricks do you use to keep yourself on time?
Photo Credit: Nicolai Berntsen