We’ve all been there before. We have an appointment at 10:30 a.m. and we know that we need to leave by 10:15 a.m. at the latest just to make it on time. However, one child couldn’t find their shoe and we hit every red light and had to wait for the train on our drive. We show up for our appointment 5 minutes late breathless and apologizing…again.
Why is it that when planning for appointments we always seem to wait until the last possible minute to leave so that only if everything happens absolutely perfectly will we have any chance of being on time? I know that many people think that someone who is always late is just selfish and doesn’t mind wasting others’ time and I am sure there are people like that. In this post I am going to help you to schedule and organize your day so that being late is a thing of the past!
However, from what I have seen, most people are late because of lack of planning. Today, I am going to challenge you to arrive anywhere you need to be 15 minutes early. You will feel so much better not having to rush in somewhere late. Your stress level will go way down and you will feel and look on top of things.
Some tips to help you organize and schedule your day in order to get to your appointments on time:
- Place everything you need for your day in one place the night before (shoes, papers, backpacks, etc.). Many times, lost or missing items, prevent us from leaving on time.
- Set an alarm to go off 5 minutes before you need to leave and when you should be walking out the door (put this second alarm for at least 15 minutes before you would need to leave if you were to be right on time). In other words, if you need to leave at 8:30 a.m. to be right on time, set your alarm to walk out the door at 8:15 a.m. Setting an alarm prevents you from getting so caught up in doing other things that you forget what time it is.
- Don’t keep trying to do one more thing. Many people (myself included) vastly overestimate what they can get done in a specific period of time. Trying to water the plants, feed the cat, go through the mail and clean the kitchen in the 5 minutes before you have to leave is going to make you late. Wake up earlier or wait until you get back. Except for feeding the cat. He’s hungry 😉
- Know how long it takes you to get ready. I know that if I have to get dressed, eat breakfast and put my makeup on, it’s going to take me 1 hr. If I add a shower and blow drying my hair, it’s going to add an extra 30 minutes. Don’t expect that you’re going to be able to complete a routine that usually takes an hour and a half in 30 minutes.
- Know what kind of traffic to expect. On my phone, when I pull up Google Maps it gives me an estimate of how long it will take me to get somewhere and includes any traffic delays in the estimate. This way, if I see that there is an accident or heavy traffic, I know to either leave earlier or take a different route that may not take as long. Google Maps shows me if there are any alternate routes that would be a better choice.
When you make it to your appointment 15 minutes early, you will feel so much better! You can go into your appointment relaxed and with confidence. You may be able to be seen or get started with your meeting earlier. If that is not possible, make sure to bring something to work on so that you don’t feel like that 15 minutes is wasted time. Bring a writing project with you, read a book, check and send e-mails, have a list of things you wanted to research online. This week whether you have a face to face appointment, online meeting, lunch date, etc. I challenge you to be there 15 minutes before the appointment starts and see how much better you feel! What are some tips you have for planning your day so that you can be on time?