5 Ways To Stay On Time

One of the things that I find most difficult about getting up in the morning is dragging myself out of the house ready for work. The reason I always manage it is because there is nothing I dislike more than being late. For me, being on time and keeping to time is always really important. If you become good at time management, everything else becomes efficient, at least regarding work, and you will then be able to have plenty of free time rather than time spent trying to catch up.

Being timely is good for you and everybody that you work with. After all, being late causes all sorts of awkwardness and inconvenience. So if you want to stay on time and prevent yourself from missing out on stuff and getting behind, here are my five tips for keeping to time.

1) Have more than one alarm.

I find it helps to have an alarm on either side of the bed. If there are two of you, you both have to turn them off and if you are alone you will have to keep reaching across until it begins to irritate you. With the snooze option and recurring sounds, you should eventually be awake enough to drag yourself out of bed.

Also having one alarm beyond arm’s reach is a good idea as you then have to get out of bed to turn that off. I suggest making this one the last resort alarm, set at the latest time you can possibly get up and still get to work without being late.

2) Change time

When I talk about changing time I mean altering the times that you note down meetings or appointments so that they appear to begin fifteen minutes earlier.

If I know a start time and allow extra time then I may end up cutting into that factored in time because I know the real start time. If I fool myself into thinking the event starts slightly earlier then I will subconsciously focus on this, making being on time much more realistic.

3) Don’t get distracted.

Taking that non-urgent phone call can slow things down.

Sometimes you have good intentions and start to make progress towards getting to an event on time and then something gets in the way.

For instance, just as you are about to walk to your next meeting, the phone rings and you pick up, while deep down knowing that this call may not be brief. Or someone stops you for a quick gossip which turns out to be a drawn out conversation that again makes you late.

4) Don’t be too polite.

Polite people are lovely but often not good at keeping to time. Being afraid to stop a meeting from overrunning because somebody is in full flow or going off on tangents is a popular cause of lateness.

Even on a zoom meeting, going off topic or not following strict timings can result in those meetings taking too long and have the knock on effect of pushing other meetings back too.

5) Be organised

If you do keep to a schedule as much as possible and set reminders and alarms to keep everything going, then your work will be more efficient. Good time management is a real skill to embrace and makes things work more fluently. Even at home, having chores organised with time allocations stops backlogs of things to do and makes family life better as well.

I hope that these ideas were useful. They are just straight forward suggestions to help everyone stay on time for work, hobbies and family events. For another article about things that make me laugh, click here here.

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26 thoughts on “5 Ways To Stay On Time

  1. I hate to be late and always make an effort to be on time for meetings. There’s nothing worse for me than people showing up late for meetings, and then the meeting chair stops and recaps what they’ve missed. No! If you’re late, too bad. Why punish those of us who showed up on time by making us sit through a recap of stuff we already heard?

  2. Wow, this post is so relatable. Being on time or being timely is something I really struggle with. Having a childhood where I was constantly late and went over time has really engrained these bad habits in me. I have learned to respect my time as well as others better and am going to continue working on it. Your tips are very helpful!

  3. Punctuality is key to having a stress-free life. Your suggestions are simple, practical, and easy to follow.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy 2022

  4. These are great tips Jamie, very much reminded me of the whole ‘to be on time is to be late and to be early is to be on time’ thing we kept getting while working in retail!

  5. I think this post was made for me, not matter what, I can seriously never be on time. It’s a blooming nightmare haha! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, I’ll for sure be using these tips in my everyday life. Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  6. Hi there. I’m definitely a multi-alarm, change time kind of person. Loved the post. I also found that one thing that gets me distracted whent rying to get out the door is realizing that I might be early, and fighting the “early is wasted time” mentality. I started telling myself that if I worried about wasting it, i should find something to do once I get on site so I’m ready to go rather than getting out the door late. So, I read, or take a walk around the location, or meditate, or call someone and tell them I’m waiting for something to start but had a few minutes to chat. I usually conly call someone who is good at keeping track of time and ask them to help me not miss the start time, too. Getting past “early is wasted time” really made a huge difference in my life.

  7. Great tips! I would also add that proper time estimation for tasks helps – I often underestimate the time needed and then my schedule is a mess!

  8. I love your two alarm solution. I had to laugh because for Christmas I bought a couple of folks the “Clocky” alarm that wheels and takes off of the nightstand while the alarm is going off. This means you need to get out of bed to catch it and turn it off 😁

  9. I also hate being late, but this often makes me half an hour early for appointments! It seems like I can’t get my timing right. Also, I smiled when I read about having more than one alarm because since high school I’ve had three alarms, each five minutes apart in the mornings.

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

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