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6 Reasons Why it Makes Sense to Arrive Early

6 Reasons Why it Makes Sense to Arrive Early
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Why bother showing up early when you can blame any number of things for “making” you late? There’s traffic, a convenient ally when you need her. A distant cousin to traffic would be a freeway accident, which of course creates traffic. Then there’s the blatantly obvious excuse of sleeping through the alarm which causes you to get on the freeway late and immerse yourself in- you guessed it- traffic. All of these are convenient excuses for lateness but there’s a flip side- being early is way cooler.

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When you’re early you get the best seat. Just like when you get to church early or a movie theatre 10 minutes before the show begins, seat selection is the name of the game. If it’s a meeting, get some distance from whomever will be running the show. If it’s a presentation, get a spot that will not cause you to visit the chiropractor due to the way you had to twist your body to see the PowerPoint presentation. When you’re early, you get to choose the ideal location for optimal learning and interaction with your peers.

When you’re early you can prepare your gear. Ever see a person squirm to find their cell phone as it embarrassingly goes off during a meeting? If they had arrived early…you get the point. Arriving early affords you the chance to put your laptop in “go” mode and your cell phone in vibrate mode. Your paper and pen are just where you want them to be and you’re ready to roll.

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When you’re early you can hear the boss complain about the guy who is running late- at least he’s not complaining about you! I’ve been in many meetings where the boss looks to us and says, “Anyone know where Joe is? He does know that the meeting is right now, doesn’t he?”

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When you’re early you can look over the agenda. If your meeting planner didn’t mail you one in advance, arriving early lets you peruse what’s on the horizon and any mental notes that pop into your head can be written down as others are arriving. Sure, there’s an agenda prepared for you but arriving early lets you think about what you want to cover in the meeting.

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When you’re early you can fix your coffee. I like coffee with my creamer so arriving early lets me prepare things the way I want, rather than a bland cup of joe the way someone else wants. It’s a small thing but it saves you time in the long run. If you arrive late, you’ll want to get something to eat or drink but will feel guilty because you’ve already make a scene by being tardy. This will occupy about 5-10 minutes of your time and who wants to waste more time by worrying about something as small as caffeine?

When you’re early you are just plain cooler. Just like being organized, early folks have their ducks in a row and know what they’re about. They might be paranoid about being late or they might be neurotic about the clock, but let’s face it- early people gain a huge advantage because they are attentive to the smallest of things.

Mike St. Pierre is the host of The Daily Saint, a productivity blog focusing on work-life balance. www.thedailysaint.com

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

1. Just pick one thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

2. Plan ahead

To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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3. Anticipate problems

There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

4. Pick a start date

You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

5. Go for it

On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

Your commitment card will say something like:

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  • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
  • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
  • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
  • I meditate daily.

6. Accept failure

If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

7. Plan rewards

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new?

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