‘Sorry I’m Late’

June 20, 2018

If you find yourself often saying the above words then this is for you. One of my biggest pet peeves is lateness, whether it’s my own or someone else’s. Being on time is important in any industry but is especially important in the marketing industry where people schedule every moment. Punctuality has always been a strong suit of mine so I thought I’d share some tips to make sure you’re never late again.

Plan Backwards

Knowing what time you need to arrive and then planning backwards to determine what time you need to begin getting ready will give you a concrete timeline to stick to. Say you know you need to be somewhere by 9 a.m. Figure out how much time it will take you to get there (25 minutes), understand there will be traffic, so you’ll need to leave by 8:15 to be safe. From here continue working backwards until you arrive at the time you will need to wake up or begin getting ready. This may seem over the top but it will reduce your stress if you know you don’t need to rush.

Schedule Time For The In-Between Things

Many people forget to factor in the small tasks that add up and cause you to be late. I’m talking about the time it takes you to put on your shoes/coat or the time it takes you to walk out to your car and get settled before actually driving away. Many people think of leaving by 8 as walking out the door at 8, but I think of it as driving away at 8. These in-between moments are small individually, but together can make you five to 10 minutes late.

Take Care Of Things The Night Before

If you know you’re going to have limited time in the morning, take care of anything you can the night before. Every night before going to bed I make sure my lunch is packed, I’ve planned what I’m going to wear the next day to avoid a 20-minute dressing session, and I’ve packed anything I may need that day (workout clothes, snack, water bottle, etc.). Having things ready to go will cut down the time it takes you to get out the door.

Be Realistic

You may want to rock some sort of elaborate hair style or eat a five-course breakfast before you head out the door, but sometimes this just isn’t going to happen. You might be thinking “this will only take 10 minutes” when in reality it will take 25, so be honest with yourself about how long certain things will take you, and know when to give something up.

Value Other People’s Time

There’s no way to sugarcoat this: being constantly late is selfish. Everyone is late once in a while. But if you’re always late, you’re showing others that you don’t respect them enough to be on time. I’ve been known to show up somewhere, such as a job interview, 30 minutes early and sit in my car until just before it’s time to go in because I would rather have time to kill then end up inconveniencing someone else.

So, there you have it. Four tips that are guaranteed to help you master the art of punctuality. Some of these tips may seem difficult to achieve if you’re not used to this kind of planning, but I promise being on time will make more organized, reliable and put together. Happy early arriving!