Are You Chronically Late?
And you always have a good reason, right?
You need to hear this .. those reasons you’re giving are merely excuses, they’re lame and you’re not fooling anyone.
Here’s a powerful skill that you can teach yourself that requires no budget, no special education and no extra time. Fixing this bad habit requires resolve – something every entrepreneur is born with – to fix this problem forever.
Fix this problem and you’ll makes a huge difference in your reputation, your credibility how much people trust you. Being on time is what separates the amateur from the Pro!
We all know that person. We have a meeting with a certain individual and we tell ourselves; “Argh, I just know they’re going to be late.”
Are you that person?
Do you frequently begin a meeting with “Sorry I’m late..” or “Sorry, traffic was brutal”, or “Sorry, (insert lame excuse)”.
Do you really believe the other person who was on time is fine with your lack of planning, your lack of mutual respect, and your amateur ways?
I promise you they’re not. They’re thinking “you’re just not pro like me”.
Worse than that – your meeting just began with you at a serious disadvantage. You now have less leverage. Your credibility has been lowered, and you’re now on the defensive before the meeting even began.
Even worse, you’ll now be inclined (or expected) to give up something.
Note to self: if you’re not on the defensive then your ego needs a check. You f’d up, you were late, now what are you going to do about it?
The person you made wait is now thinking; “You were late – now what’s in it for me?” This puts you at a disadvantage.
Arriving Late 101
People who are late – let’s call them “group-A” – always blame the world around them. Then there’s Group-B, and these weirdos always manage to be on time.
Both groups are dealing with the same traffic, same issues at work or home, the exact same conditions – yet still, group A is chronically late and group B is always on time.
The answer is simple!
Group-A is simply not planning their day properly.
If you don’t think being on time is a big deal, then you need to check your ego. #justsayin
HOW TO BE ON TIME – EVERY TIME!
Here are my Top Five Strategies;
Number 1 – Way Early
Arrive wayyyy early, just do it. If I have a 3-pm meeting, I aim for arrival at 2-pm at the latest. Yes, a full hour beforehand is on time. In fact, if I show up at 2:10-pm – I consider myself late – just for me, my personal scorecard.
The “late person” will say “Ha, that’s a massive waste of time, I don’t have extra hours to waste.”
My answer; “Not at all. When I arrive early, I use that time productively. My time isn’t wasted, plus now my day is way less stressful. I take that extra time to review my meeting notes, gather my thoughts, review my meeting notes again, and get myself in the zone.”
I continue, “If I still have extra time, I open my laptop, or iPad, or Smartphone, and do some work.”
If we’re organized, there is always something we can do to keep busy.
So when I arrive a full hour before a meeting – that hour is never wasted, I keep busy, and – here’s the upside: I’m never late. In fact, I’ll walk in exactly a few minutes prior, and “in the zone”, every time.
Another 2 bonuses of arriving early;
- My meetings begin with me “In The Zone”, I’m more productive and meetings run smoother.
- My day is less stressful.
Number 2 – Life Happens, Communicate Immediately
Things happen, and even Group-B (the on-time crew) can be legitimately late. Here’s how they handle it.
First – Unless it’s a freak-delay such as an accident, etc, they usually know ahead of time and communicate what’s going on immediately. When your schedule gets a little tight, it happens, TELL THEM AHEAD OF TIME! “Hey, my day got a little crazy and I’m still ok with our meeting time but I’ll be arriving close to our scheduled time, can we add a 30-minute window on my arrival? Will that work for you?”
Second – Once communication is open, try to reschedule to a better time (or day). Push the start time an hour or two – or even a day or two. Give yourself some extra breathing room – this will lower your anxiety and give your entire day more room to work things out.
This step is important.
I never remember the person who called to reschedule, but I always remember the person who made me wait.
Note to self: This “Step-2” should be a rare exception. If you’re making this call on more than 1 in 10 meetings, then go back to step number 1.
Number 3 – Do The Math Conservatively
Here’s the mental math I go through if I have a meeting I need to travel to. I
Number 4 – Unplug and Focus
One full hour before any meeting, I stop checking my email, social feeds, and I’ll rarely take a call.
This is so I can get my mind on the task at hand – the meeting, the details, my goals.
Answering an email is a perfect way to eat up precious minutes before a meeting, and cause you to be late.
Number 5 – Avoid the Domino Effect
We could list endless tiny distractions or ‘life-happens’ events to disrupt our schedule and if poorly managed, could cause us to be late.
Everyone’s environment is different – but the list is endless
- a phone call
- a colleague in the lobby asking “a quick question”
- someone in the parking garage holding up the line
- you misplaced your keys
- you just spilled coffee on your shirt & have to change
- the kids called
- the kid’s school called
- you have to walk the dog before leaving the house
- you still can’t find your keys
This domino effect of micro-time wasters can eat up more time than you can spare. If you don’t account for these, you’ll invariably struggle with your scheduling.