Tick, Tock: How To Break Your Habit Of Being Late

November 8, 2013  |  

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Everyone jokes about BPT (Black People Time), but lateness is no laughing matter when it comes to your job.

A new survey from Timex, found that most Americans are sticklers when it comes to tardiness: 64 percent of workers say they “are never late for work,” and more than half of them say that any amount of lateness means you should be considered “officially” late to work, reports The Grindstone.

So people who are late — be it to work, to meetings, in completing projects — they stand out like a sore thumb. Employers and even fellow co-workers don’t like dealing with workers who are late. Not only do you leave a bad impression as irresponsible, but your lateness can affect the entire office.

“Employers are also under a duty of care to know where their employees are within the time-frames they are supposed to be at work, and thus if you are not on time without giving forward notice, it falls to their human resources department to make followup calls and ensure that you are okay and not been in an accident or had any trouble getting in,” reports Career Path.

Being habitually late to meetings can also indicate a lack of respect or commitment.  “People who are late in the early part of their career are often labeled as irresponsible and undependable. Some employees actually lose their jobs for lateness, particularly if companies put all new employees on a trial period of probation,” reports Yahoo!

“Arriving late can immediately decrease your perceived status from professional to amateur. Wouldn’t a professional have enough experience to know how much time he/she needs to complete all relevant preparatory tasks?” says life coach and entrepreneur Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis  (known as Dr. Bisa).

Your lateness can affect even the mood of your co-workers. If you are expected to attend an important meeting with a client, your boss,  co-workers, and even the client will be anxious about your ability to get to the meeting on time. “No matter how good your products or services may be, remember, your perceived status has been decreased,” Dr. Bisa tells us.

You are not alone, however, if you have trouble being on time. Even Dr. Bisa says she battled lateness.  “I’m the perfect person to discuss being late because, unfortunately, I feel as if I inherited ‘the late trait.’ I struggle with time management, but recognize it. That’s the first step,” she explains. “I plan diligently to prevent arriving late, which I consider the second step.”

10 Steps To Stop Being Late

Own Your Lateness: “Accept the fact that time management is a challenge for you. Stop making excuses or blaming your lateness on other people and situations—traffic, family,” advises Dr. Bisa.

Understand Time Constraints: “Avoid overextending yourself by scheduling too many appointments around the same time. By doing this, you are setting yourself up to being late,” reports Wiki How.

Just Say No: It’s not possible to attend every event, so don’t even consider trying. “Refrain from accepting invitations that you cannot realistically fit into your schedule. Not only will you be creating a stressful situation for yourself because you will be forced to follow through on the invite, but you will most likely be late and upset the person you are meeting,” reports Wiki How.

Realize It’s Not All About You: “Recognize how your late arrivals affect your performance and those around you. Watch the look on others’ faces when you walk into the room late,” advises Dr. Bisa.

Recognize The Ramifications: “Actions peak louder than words. Reflect on the event and your performance, then think about how much better it could have turned out had you arrived in a timely fashion,” notes Dr. Bisa.

Manage Your Time: Time management is key to being on time. “Make a conscious and concerted decision to better manage your time. Figure out what causes you to be late and manage accordingly,” says Dr. Bisa. “For instance, I recognize that the majority of my time is spent taking long showers and applying make-up. I need a solid 90 minutes to get ready. Every time I give myself less than 90 solid minutes to get dressed, I end up being late.”

Stop Manipulating Others: Being late is a form of control over others. “Realize that it won’t be long before an assertive person calls you out on this tactic and brings you down to size, probably in front of everyone. And that won’t look good,” reports Wiki How.

Remember the 5 Ps : “The 5 Ps are Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance,” explains Dr. Bisa. “Leave early enough to arrive early; prepare attire and materials the night before.”

Boost Your Self Esteem: “If you feel a need to use lateness as a form of testing your loved ones’ loyalty and determination to stick with you, there is something missing inside, namely self-love,” notes Wiki How. Tell yourself that you don’t need others to constantly prove they care about you by giving up their time waiting for you.

Go Tech: Technology can help keep you on time. “Plan with traffic in mind by using Navigation with traffic notifications on your smart phone; set earlier alarms, notifications and reminders on smart phone and follow them,” says Dr. Bisa. “Modern technology provides great business tools to enable today’s professionals to schedule and plan properly. However, a smart phone is only as smart as the user.”

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