Three Ways to Stop Being Late

Time management lateHave trouble getting out the door on time? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re all late sometimes – cars break down, emergencies come up – but it’s important to remember that when we keep others waiting, we are spending their time that could be used for other things. These three tips will help you with your punctuality!

I ran across this article this week, and while its tone is harsh, it was a good reminder that other people depend on us. Sometimes a start time is just a suggestion, but other times promptness is important. If you find yourself consistently late…

1. Calculate transition time

Add ten minutes to any commute. Sure, it may take 30 minutes to get from point A to point B, but you have to find your keys, get to the car, park when you get there…and all of those things take time. As a general rule, add 10 minutes to whatever Google Maps says.

2. Have a list

It takes forever to get out of the house or office when we’re running around trying to collect everything we need. Keep a list of the things you need to bring so you’re not trying to remember when you’re in a rush. Better yet, keep a “bring it with you” bin by the door so you have everything in one place.

3. Apologize

When you are late, apologize to the person. Say something like, “I’m sorry I kept you waiting. I hate to waste your time like that. I know it’s valuable.” Keep it short and sincere. Apologizing not only expresses your value of the other person’s time, but it sends a message to yourself that your tardiness was a mistake and shouldn’t be a habit.

Being late happens to the best of us, but recognizing your mistake and taking steps to correct it in the future will be the best steps for your time management.

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Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Gobblegeddon and The Importance of Double Checking

Time Management Double CheckDouble checking plans and arrangements always seems like a hassle…until it averts a time wasting disaster! This week, I learned an essential lesson about the importance of double-checking and why two minutes of forethought can save hours of time later. To chuckle at my little calamity, and hopefully prevent this from happening to you, read on…

A Red Eye Gone Wrong

One of the cool things about writing a time management blog is that when crappy things happen to you, the silver lining is always, “Well, at least I’ll get a blog out of it!” That was my first thought after what will henceforth be known as the Great Thanksgiving Travel Debacle of 2013.

Let me preface this story with the fact that my husband and I travel a lot. We know exactly how long it will take to get through security at various times of the day and make a sport out of trying to get an “A” boarding pass on Southwest without paying for early check in. I am usually the queen of double-checking everything when it comes to travel….until this week.

We were booked on a United red eye flight to Florida. We weren’t checking bags, we were busy getting last minute holiday things taken care of, so we didn’t bother to check-in online and print our boarding passes like we usually do. When we arrived at the ticket counter in plenty of time to make the flight, we heard the 5 words no air traveler ever wants to hear…

“That flight just took off.”

What?!?! Apparently, amidst the multiple schedule changes this flight had suffered, we hadn’t seen the email about it being moved up by an hour. Minor details. After several hours of trying to rebook and begging for a standby seat, we finally secured seats on the first flight out in the morning.

Should Have Double Checked…

This left me plenty of time to think about the importance of double checking as I tried to sleep across three chairs and an end table curled up in the terminal with a few other stranded travelers between the hours of 1:00am and 5:00am.

Double-checking always seems so obvious after the fact. It’s not until after something goes wrong that we think, “Really? I didn’t have 2 minutes to spare to ensure that this didn’t happen?”

When people heard of our flight woes, their first assumption was that we got caught up in the huge winter storm that week (affectionately dubbed “Gobblegeddon” by some media outlets.) Nope. This was all 100% preventable.

As we head into one of the most hectic months of the year, remember to take the extra minute and double check your plans before walking out the door. That little extra caution can save you loads of headache later.

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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net