We’ve all been there. Having the best intentions in the world to be on time for something, and yet, somehow, we find ourselves sitting in traffic in our car, with the sat nav telling us there are 15 minutes of the journey still to go – and we are already 5 minutes late…..
How can this have happened AGAIN!
Today I want to look at a few different ways that can help you to be on time for everything going forward – why not see which work for you…
The method we tend to try first…
Some of the more common ways that have probably been tried before are to try and trick yourself into changing time itself i.e. doing one of two things:-
- Set your watch 10 minutes later than it actually is
- Write down the start times of appointments 10 minutes earlier than they actually are
Both of these seem great ways to go about being earlier to things – or at least on time – but the problem with these are that before long you will start to counteract the changes by adding on 10 minutes to everything anyway.
You are aware of the change, so that negates its effectiveness.
Much better to try and tackle the problem head on, and that’s where a much better method comes into play:-
The method that works!
Basically – using your diary to it’s maximum will ensure that you are on time for everything once and for all.
Lets take an example:-
You have an appointment booked for 10am next Tuesday so you write it in your diary.
Take a minute to answer the following question – How would you write this down in your diary?
Most people will use the line at 10am to write down that the appointment exists.
Which is fine.
But it only gives you partial information – you haven’t recorded when it will finish (or a guesstimate), or what travel or preparation time you will have.
If you don’t add these things in as well then you leave yourself open for overbooking, and rushing on the day of the appointment – so you have far less chance of being on time.
Its far better to allocate time blocks to meetings in your diary – and include all the extra parts that will need time i.e.
- Evening before appointment – add to diary to check everything is ready for the appointment (you have the right clothes / information / paperwork / you have a note of the address for your sat nav or directions etc…)
- 9.15am on day of appointment – stop what you are doing and start getting ready to leave the house
- 9.30am – Set off for meeting (journey time 15 mins so have allowed extra in case of traffic)
- 10am – Appointment starts
- 11am appointment ends
- 11.30am get home (allowing a buffer for overrun / traffic etc…)
Therefore, to be at the meeting with some room for travel times to increase, and any other unforeseen circumstances, you need to start getting ready at 9.15am.
If you didn’t have this in your diary it is very easy to start something else totally unrelated at 9am and then realise you are going to be late when its too late to do anything about it.
TASK – Give yourself a goal this week to be 5 mins early for everything, write down in your diary all the pre-requisites for getting to each place on time, and then stick to it – you may just surprise yourself at how easy it is and how it becomes a great habit in your life!
So – to be on time for everything you have to be conscious of time.
If I can give you just one trick today, then it’s this:-
To be on time for everything you need to schedule in your preparation time as well as your meeting time.
Use your diary as your own personal P.A!