Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mom Talk # 26: How to Be On Time

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for the introduction and index of the posts in this 31 Days series, click }here{

Dearest Children of Mine,

We talked about what you wear to work and the importance of suiting up }here{. Today, let's talk about how to get yourself out the door and arrive on time.

Not only does arriving on time allow you to enter a meeting, interview or social event feeling calm and focused, it conveys some extremely positive things about you:

  • You respect the other person and their time
  • You are reliable
  • You keep your word and are trustworthy
  • You manage your time and your schedule well
Being on time doesn't just happen though; you have to take steps toward it with intention. To make sure you're on time consistently, no matter where you're going, you must consider being on time to be a choice and take responsibility for it.  Here are a few things you can do to set yourself up for punctuality:

Know your route

Do your research when you make the appointment - use an online map to determine how you're going to get there, and especially note how long the drive will take you.  It's important to do this before the day of the appointment, so that this part of your plan is already done and doesn't take up your time the day you need to go.

Plan to arrive 10 minutes early, not on time

Your target arrival time is 10 minutes before the appointment, not the actual time of the appointment.  You need a moment to check in, put your coat away, pull things out of your briefcase, whatever.  Pad your time plan and consider 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment to be, in your mind, the arrival time.

Work out your schedule

Think your schedule through with precise detail, and then you can let yourself run on autopilot.  Consider how much time everything will take you:

10 minutes ... Ironing my shirt
45 minutes ... Dressing
35 minutes ... Commute
10 minutes ... parking/walking to building
100 minutes ... TOTAL 

Then add 15 minutes for the unexpected:  traffic is unusually heavy, you take a wrong turn, you can't find a parking place.  Work backwards from the time you want to arrive to figure out when you need to leave.  Thus in this example, to arrive at 9:50 for a 10:00 appointment, you need 115 minutes, or an hour and 55 minutes (you may as well round that to 2 hours), and should begin your leaving process - all those steps lined out above - at 7:50.

It helps to be exceedingly precise with this exercise.  Our brains like to round down on how long things will take, and if you aren't painstakingly specific, you'll convince yourself you can sleep a few more minutes, check this one more website, or get this one thing done.  If you know precisely what time you need to begin your process, it's not so easy to let things bleed.  

Round UP

You know it's true:  everything takes longer than you think it will.  Do yourself a favor: round up when you're calculating time required to get yourself somewhere.  Don't think in 5 minute segments, think in 10's.  Don't think in 15 minute segments, think in 30's.  

Establish your last minute checklist

Every time your Granddaddy left the house, he checked his pockets.  It went something like:  left front - pocket change, right front - keys, left rear - handkerchief, right rear - wallet.  Thus, he never left the house without these important things.  You should do the same.  Start with knowing how many things you need to be walking out the door with, and then make a mental checklist and go through it just before you head out the door every single time.  It's also a good idea to assemble the things you always take with you in the same place all the time.  That way, when you need to go somewhere unexpectedly, it's all right there ready to grab.  

Use a timer, not a clock

Finally, you should know how long it takes to drive from home to points A, B, and C.  When you leave, set your car's timer feature to zero and don't look at the clock.  That can help relieve the stressful adrenaline rush that looking at the clock can bring and will help you arrive in a more relaxed state.

If you do all these things, you'll be consistently early.  Don't let yourself think being early is a waste of your time - it's an easy investment that builds your reputation, makes you feel good about yourself,  and gives you the advantage of being collected and relaxed everywhere you go.    

for the introduction and index of the posts in this 31 Days series, click }here{
thanks for reading!

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

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