Guest blog by Sonja Stoces of Simple Solutions
Originally posted on Simple Solutions.
Are you one of those people who is ALWAYS late? Do you THINK you slide in just under the appointed hour? Chances are you are late more often than you are on time.
This blog was inspired by an article someone posted on Facebook about chronically late people being optimists. I’ll have to say I disagree, and this is why. When you are late, the message you are sending (whether it’s your intended message or not) is that your time is more important than the other person’s time. You have more important things to do than be on time to an appointment or event. Yes, I get that time means different things in different cultures – and that’s great! If you live in Brazil and time is a bit more fluid, that’s fine. But if you live in the US and more value is placed on time, especially in business, then you might want to step up and be proactive about being on time.
Here are a few tricks I’ve learned that keep me on track:
1. Meditate: I choose to use my first few minutes everyday meditating. I focus on those things that need to be accomplished and find I gain clarity about how to get to the end game.
2. Have a list: yes, a to do list. Keep a daily list of what needs to be accomplished. Focus on the task at hand and mark it off when it’s completed.
3. Prioritize: When you’re making your list, prioritize your tasks. What items are time sensitive? Do they have a deadline attached? What items can be moved to later in the day/week/month should the need arise?
4. Schedule: Make a schedule and stick to it. Schedule your appointments in your calendar. Block out time for tasks that need to be completed. Don’t short yourself on time – if you need an hour to accomplish something, give yourself an hour. You might have to get up 20 minutes earlier, but you’ll finish your task and be on track for the rest of your day.
5. Plan your route: If you’re going to a meeting in a new location, make sure to take the time to plan your route. Look it up on your GPS, Mapquest, or Google Maps, whichever one works for you. Most will give you a driving time. Keep in mind, the times given are relative to when you are looking it up, not necessarily when you are going. Don’t wait until the last minute! You may find you have a 20 minute trip and only 10 minutes to do it in.
6. Set Reminders: If you use a digital calendar, there is usually a place where you can set a reminder for yourself. Don’t count on your memory to keep you on track. I will generally set a reminder a couple of hours before an appointment. This gives me time to wrap up what I’m working on, get out the door, and arrive on time.
Let your customers, associates, and potential clients know they are important to you and you value their time. Plan accordingly and arrive early!
Sonja Stoces is the owner of Simple Solutions and would love to be your personal Virtual Assistant. She helps her clients spend less time on things like posting blogs, writing newsletters, and maintaining their websites. This frees up time for them to get out there and meet new clients and generate more money. In her free time she likes to hang out with her kid, read books, watch movies, and go on the occasional hike.