Are you tired of arriving late to your place of work?
Do you want to triumphantly arrive at your desk or workstation with several minutes to spare…before the workday begins?
Arriving on time to work doesn’t just happen.
The process requires careful thought and planning.
In this post, I offer several practical tips to help you arrive on time for work.
You can follow one, two, or all of these tips to help you improve your time management skills.
Prepare your belongings the night before.
Give yourself a head start in the morning by preparing your belongings the night before.
You’ll be amazed at how much time this can save you, especially if you’re not a morning person.
You won’t have to worry about performing a task because it will already be done!
Use the evening before to pack your bag, purse or briefcase, select your work outfit, plan or prep your breakfast, and pack your lunch. Try this tip at least once and see how much more smoothly your routine goes the following morning.
Get a good night’s rest.
Quick question: do you get at least eight hours of sleep every night? Getting little to no sleep can have a huge impact on your ability to get ready in the morning, not to mention having an effect on your productivity levels during the day. Do your mind and body a favor by putting a priority on getting enough sleep each night.
Set a reasonable bedtime for yourself. How would you feel in the morning if you went to bed at 9:30, 10:00 or 10:30 P.M.? Refreshed? Relaxed? Ready to start the day? You should also strongly consider limiting your screen time in front of your computer, tablet, or smart phone, and TV before bed so you have enough time to relax and unwind.
Limit or remove distractions.
One surefire way take back time in the morning is to reduce or completely avoid distractions. What takes away your attention or distracts you as you get ready for work? Take a good hard look at your morning routine to see what activities are an obvious time suck for you.
Do you feel the pull of your email inbox, a movie you wanted to watch on TV, or the urge to do a five-minute pinning session on Pinterest? Once you identify the distraction (and this may take some careful thought on your end), you can take steps to neutralize it.
You might have to temporarily switch off your computer or phone to avoid checking email, avoid the living room or TV room, or block your internet browser, but it will well be worth it.
Give yourself enough time to get ready.
How long does it take you to comfortably get ready for work in the morning? Do you need thirty minutes, forty-five minutes, an hour or more to feed the dog, bathe, shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast? If you feel even the slightest bit rushed in the morning, chances are you need more time to prepare yourself.
Start by adding twenty to thirty minutes to your routine, and then ten minute increments after that. Over time, and with practice, you’ll find a “sweet spot,” or ideal amount of time you need to get ready on any given day.
Set timers and reminders as necessary.
Have trouble keeping track of the time in the morning? You may need to give yourself a bit of a helping hand by using a timer. You’ll see exactly how much time it takes you to get ready and how much time you have left to finish a task.
Try setting a timer on your smart phone as you get dressed, comb your hair, and put on your shoes. Or, you may prefer to use a timer reminder that you have to leave the house in fifteen minutes.
Oh, and when that timer goes off, make sure you act. Don’t just switch off the timer and ignore it. Take action! Switch off the alarm, pick up your belongings, and head out the door.
Compute your commute.
Do you know how many minutes it takes you to leave your home and travel to your place of work? If not, you may want to time yourself from doorstep to doorstep to get an accurate reading. Once you know how many minutes on average it takes you to get from point A to point B, you can better adjust your schedule.
As soon as you have this average amount of minutes, you can take a few steps to streamline things. One way is to calculate the quickest or most efficient route using a trip planning app on your smart phone or computer.
Another way would to be to get a good night’s sleep, wake up early and/or give yourself enough time in the morning to get ready.
Lastly, you could do some targeted experimentation with your regular commute to find more efficient routes and transportation options.
Make arriving on time your only goal.
Arriving to work on time takes willpower, determination, and focus. That being said, you may find it helpful to set a simple morning goal for yourself to arrive to work on time. This certainly frees up a lot of valuable decision-making time for yourself!
Make punctuality a priority in your morning routine. Practice saying “no” to all those little things around the house that are vying for your time. You can to do that load of laundry, email your best friend, or brainstorm ideas for the winter carnival later.
Remember, it’s not that you won’t attend to these items; rather, it’s that you do not the have time right now to deal with them.
How about you? Do you have trouble arriving on time to work? What steps are you going to take to make sure you arrive on time in future? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!