Constantly battling with tardiness? Punctuality is a key part of professionalism, and chronic lateness can really hurt your career. Let’s take a look at some techniques that can help you kick the habit of being late for work.
Allow Extra Time
If you’re chronically late, you probably forget to account for all of the steps involved in reaching your destination. It might take 20 minutes to drive to work under ideal conditions…and then another 5 minutes to park and walk to your office. If you only account for the drive, you’ll be 5 minutes late every day. And what happens if there’s a traffic jam, or it’s raining, or you have to swing by your child’s school to drop off something they forgot?
If you want to stop being late for work, build in a cushion of at least 10 minutes. This gives you the opportunity to arrive not only on time, but far more relaxed and less stressed than you would be after a breakneck trip.
It’s incredibly easy to get distracted or involved in something that seems incredibly important before you leave home. But a ringing alarm can snap you back to the reality that you need to leave. So, set one for whatever time you need to start getting ready, and another for the time you need to leave (keeping your time cushion in mind). This can be especially useful if you work the second or third shift and have lots of free time before heading out.
Some people actually thrive on the adrenaline rush of tight deadlines. If this is you, create an artificial deadline instead. Tell yourself that you have to be there 30 minutes before you actually do. So, if work starts at 3 p.m., convince yourself that it starts at 2:30 instead. You’ll still get your adrenaline rush without sacrificing your career.
Make Waiting Fun
One of the most common reasons that people give for being late for work is that they hate waiting around. So, find a way to make it fun. If you’re into puzzles, buy a paper and pencil puzzle magazine that you only pull out when you have extra time before clocking in. Or download a book on your tablet and only read it while you’re waiting. If you have something to look forward to, you might even find yourself leaving earlier and earlier just to get that reward.
Being late for work is a habit. For most positions and responsibilities, it is not what employers want to see. With the tips above, you can break that habit and replace it with one that is far better for your career.
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