For some of you, it’s a nightmare, and for some of you it has become a habit – being late for work. Even the most punctual of you have definitely been late for work at least once due to circumstances you just couldn’t have predicted. On the other hand, there are people who seem as though they can’t keep it together and can’t arrive on time, and it’s always a different reason: I slept in, I forgot my car keys, I was tired and needed more time to wake up – the list is endless. From being plainly annoying, being perpetually late can result in getting fired, which is not the outcome you wish for.
“I can make it to work in 20 minutes!”
People who constantly show up late for work most often have the problem of precisely estimating how much time they need for getting ready and getting to work. They allow themselves to stay in bed only 5 minutes longer, which turns into 10, which turns into 15. And they just think, “What’s 15 more minutes in bed, I have more than plenty of time!” That’s where the trouble begins – by setting unrealistic time span for performing morning rituals. Trying to squeeze in everything that needs to be done into just enough time doesn’t account for various unpredictable circumstances, such as forgetting something, spilling coffee on the carefully selected clothes, replying to an important email, and so on. Even one small situation we didn’t include forehand into the morning schedule can set us off track and then the battle is lost. Being late is inevitable as well as the stress that accompanies it.
Another common mistake people make when calculating when they need to leave for work is to plan the time it’ll take them to get to work based on their best time. It rarely happens that you have the perfect traffic every day without traffic jams, sudden delays and red lights. That’s just not possible. Traffic is quite unpredictable, so don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can make it there in 20 minutes. By setting such unrealistic expectations, you are first and foremost bound to feel stressed, and bound to be late, yet again.
Start everything 15 minutes earlier and plan your commute as if it is the worst traffic you’ve ever seen
If your boss rolls his/her eyes every day upon seeing you, that’s the sign you’ve been late many more times than you care to admit. And that’s the sign you need to make some changes in your routine. First of all, you need to be honest with yourself and look for the reason as to why you are late all the time.
If you lack organization skills in terms of knowing how much time you need to get ready, than the best practice is to plan everything and then begin 15 minutes earlier. These additional 15 minutes will give you enough time to be punctual even if some unplanned situation occurs. Therefore, you won’t be in a hurry or start panicking because you are out of time. Consequently, you’ll arrive on time, and be more relaxed and prepare to work. This doesn’t have to be a permanent change in your schedule, just until your sense of punctuality improves.
Moreover, when predicting how much time you’ll need to get to work as soon as you leave your house, imagine the worst possible traffic scenario. Thinking everything will go smoothly will lead to being late with every little delay you encounter on your way to work. You will feel the pressure of having to cross that distance from home to work in a time frame that is simply not doable. You’ll feel much more relaxed and productive if you are realistic in estimating the time for travelling to work.
In time, you’ll see the results, and stop being late. Even if you arrive at work earlier, you can use that time to finish some personal tasks you have been neglecting.
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