You’re late—again. You should have been at the doctor’s office 20 minutes ago but you were delayed by rush-hour traffic picking up your son at school. That means you’ll be late getting him to the babysitter’s house and meeting your friend for dinner.
Reflecting back over the past several months, you have a sudden realization — you’re chronically late for everything by at least five to 10 minutes. You always plan to arrive on time. But the reality is that you race to get out the door and then drive too fast, all the while feeling your blood pressure rising.
I had a friend who was late whenever we had plans to meet. I don’t mean once in a while. And not by just a few minutes — once it was three hours! He didn’t do it to be mean. He just didn’t see his lateness as a problem. But I felt he didn’t respect me or my time. Show people you respect them and their time.
Maybe you over-schedule yourself by doing one more thing, then another and another when you should be leaving. To be on time, stop what you’re doing a few minutes earlier.
The good news? It’s never too late to learn new habits. Getting places on time really is easy to learn. How? Start at the end time and work backward. Here’s an example.
- Your doctor’s appointment is at 4:30.
- Her office is 25 minutes away without traffic.
- You were told to arrive 15 minutes early to check in.
- On the way, you need to pick up some items at the drug store and get gas in the car.
The Math (try figuring it out before seeing the answer)
- The arrival time becomes 4:15
- Drive time is 25 minutes plus 15 minutes for rush-hour traffic, or 40 minutes
- Allow 15 minutes at the drug store because there’s usually a line for the cashier
- Allow 10 minutes to get gas in case the station is busy
- Allow an extra five-minute cushion for unexpected delays
What Time Should You Leave? 3:05 (or 3:10 if you didn’t add the extra five-minute cushion).
With the start of the busy holiday season next week, this is a great time to start your new habit of being on time. Better yet, plan to arrive five to 10 minutes early. But don’t be too early, which can be just as bad as being late. Be realistic about how long it takes to get from point A to point B. Take into account time of day, weekday or weekend, regular day or holiday, fair or inclement weather, and add a few extra minutes. I guarantee you’ll be happier and a lot more relaxed!
Product of the Month
A unique clock, Time Timer shows the actual passing of time. Set it for the number of minutes you want and watch the red dial slowly disappear as it shows how much time remains. For example, if you want to stop what you’re doing in 40 minutes (see image), the red section gradually gets smaller as the clock counts down the 40 minutes. This is an especially good product for people with AD/HD and children who have trouble comprehending the concept of passing time. The Time Timer is available as a clock, watch, app or desktop software. This 8″ product sells for $34.95 on TimeTimer.com.
Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. ~Harvey Mackay
My Upcoming Engagements
Friday, December 12 — Guest presenter on business organizing tips and techniques to maximize productivity and profit in the new year. NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Montgomery County satellite meeting, 9:00-10:30 am, at KenCrest, 502 W. Germantown Pike, Suite 200, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462. You don’t have to be a NAWBO member so join us!
Saturday, January 10 (January 17 inclement weather date) — Save the date. Co-presenter at an information-packed, interactive and fun workshop by women, for women, Rock Your 2015: YOUR Year For Personal Empowerment!, 9:00-1:00 at the Days Inn, Horsham, PA. Details to follow.
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An Organized Approach can help you with organization at home and/or work, home staging, downsizing or redesign. Call 215.540.9401 or e-mail [email protected] to arrange a FREE discovery call.
Have a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!