I have always been the type of person to adhere to any schedules given to me. I was never late to school, always early to doctors appointments and this good habit made its way into my working life. In my mind, it is better to be early to something rather than face the embarrassment of being late. This was all well and good when I spent the majority of life in the UK where punctuality is considered important, but as I began to travel further afield, I quickly realised this was not always the case. From casual meetings with friends in Spain, to dates in the Philippines, I began to experience a new type of frustration, exacerbated by others who didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. Over time in business and relationships, I began to try and exert my influence on others in order to get them to improve their punctuality, which could never be a negative, right? Below are a few tips on how one can become more respectful of their time.
Wake up earlier
This may involve sleeping earlier but the general idea is to give yourself more time to prepare and get your day started, so you don’t start off in a rush. They say the best time to work is when everyone else is asleep, be it working out or preparing for your work day, so start by waking up 15 minutes earlier and gradually more until you see the benefit of doing so. Remember, it takes at least 21 days to create a habit, good or bad, so stick with it until then.
Invest in a wristwatch
Many of us nowadays rely on our phones for the clock, and while much of our focus may be on the screen, they can often become more of a distraction and you therefore become oblivious to the passing of time, even if the numbers are staring right at you. Having a wristwatch, ideally a digital one can help you improve your punctuality, especially if it is synced to your calendar and reminders.
Use a daily planner
Get into the habit of writing down your daily tasks and commitments. When you write it down and see it on paper all together, you become more conscious of your tasks and will be forced to plan time to complete them accordingly. Writing them down on paper is preferable over your phone or computer as you won’t have the opportunity to get sidetracked and lose focus.
Push for time-management technology at work
If you tend to stray over allocated time at work, such as for meetings or breaks, considering pushing your superiors to implement technology that would help with this. Let’s face it, a little bit of organisation never hurt anybody, and besides, you’ll feel much better for it without getting in trouble for meetings that have overrun or losing track of time during your lunch break. Technology such as a conference room scheduling display can make all the difference with regards to this, as well as improving the efficiency of your workplace. There’s almost no reason why your boss would say no!