Always late to everything? Time to fix it!

Since I begun studying my own and others’ habits it is particularly one bad habit that I have seen among most age groups; the habit of turning up late to meetings.

Turning up late to a meeting is costly. And I am not talking about the time you waste for the person, group or team waiting for a meeting to get started. I am talking about the image you are sending to the others. That your time, whatever you were doing, is more valuable than meeting with them.

If you are a salesman, this is almost always a bad start. Now the customer thinks that the delivery of what you are offering will be late too.

If this is a meeting with your colleagues, you are still saying that you did something more important than being with them.

Is this how you want to be perceived?

  • Sloppy
  • Disrespectful
  • Disorganised
  • Stressed
  • Unprofessional

Because that is the image you are giving others, simply by being late.

The positives of showing up on time

People who show up on time show that they are responsible, that they respect the time of others and that they care about other people. They can also benefit from less stress, since being late to something always induces stress. Having trouble with an upset stomach or having a hard time focusing? Maybe it is because you are constantly late with tasks, projects and meetings?

The fix

Luckily, fixing your tardiness is not really hard. It comes down to a bit of discipline and determination, but here are some tricks that I have seen used with great success.

  • Everything goes into your calendar, with reminders before the meeting/deadline. If you need to be at your client’s at 10.30, set an alarm for 10 ‘o clock.

  • Don’t try to do everything at once. People who try to juggle too many things often have a hard time making deadlines and showing up on time.

  • Tell others you have a problem with this and ask them to help you make it on time.

*. Get a watch. A regular one. Now set it five minutes early. Even if you know you have some extra five minutes it can trick your mind into creating a bit of an urgency to show up, without being stressed out because if you are one minute late you are really four minutes early.

  • Ask people at work if they can start meeings at the scheduled time, regardless if everyone is there or not. The feeling of showing up late to a meeting that already started is way worse than showing up to a meeting where everyone just waited for everybody else to show up.

Do you also have a problem with this? Share your tactics for dealing with people who show up late.