We’ve all heard of the expression “5 minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.” Simply, how punctual are you?

Whether in the workplace or in your personal life, we all hate the person who is always running late.

Let’s look at the hows and whys of punctuality to  better understand a punctual person.

  • People who are always late tend to be disorganized. It’s difficult to be punctual when you’re constantly looking for your clothes, your keys, or the documents for your next meeting.
  • They are always late tend to be more easily distracted. If you get easily distracted by things you will have a tendency to more late.
  • People who are always late tend to enjoy the adrenaline rush of beating the deadline at the last minute.
  • They are always late tend to feel they waste their time waiting if they are early.

Now that we know why people tend to be late, let’s talk about how to be the opposite.

1. Make a list of how long you think your daily tasks take.
Start with making a list of your daily tasks and how long each task takes. This will allow you to identify the tasks that take longer than the others. It will also allow to identify how time you need for each task to be done. Think of this exercise as budgeting your time within a day.

2. Use a daily planner.
One of the best ways to stay organized and not forget anything is to use a daily planner that has a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish. List tasks according to urgency and importance and accomplish them according to the deadlines you have set.

3. Keep things in set places.
If the reason you are always late is because you are disorganized, remember to always keep things in set places so you don’t waste time looking for things at the last minute.

4. Always aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Whether it’s a date or a meeting, aim to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early.

Hate waiting?

So do other people. Don’t be the cause of delay or the reason other people have to wait. Include these 10-15 minutes in your list of how long each task takes.

5. Always wear a watch.
If you always wear a watch, or have a clock, you will be more aware of the time, and the tasks that need to be completed by a certain time.

6. Prepare for what might go wrong.
So you’ve made a list of your tasks, you’ve followed your daily planner to the tee. But something unexpected happens and throws you off completely. Allow a little cushion time to address the unexpected and still be on time.

7. Think of punctuality as a means to show your integrity and credibility.
What better way to show your integrity and credibility than not letting other people wait for you and by honoring the time you agreed on? Being punctual not only shows your integrity and credibility, it also shows that you are considerate of other people’s time and resources by making sure that you don’t waste them.

When you are consistently punctual, you not only boost your credibility and professionalism, you also lessen the stress that you go through when always beating the clock.

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