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Taking the Stress Out of Being Punctual.
9/18/2017In much of the western world, time is seen as a valued commodity. Your time is not only valuable, but the people and activities you commit your mutual time to are equally important.
Be honest. Do you frequently find yourself in a rush to make appointments and start times? Do you find yourself constantly in a rush between your beginning and destination points? Are you frequently making excuses for your delays? Do you find yourself repeatedly apologizing for being late? Are you ready to form a new way of thinking that leads to punctuality? If so, here are a few suggestions to help you master the art of being on time.
1. Ask yourself “Why?” Were you ever responsible for your own schedule growing up? Or did your caregivers wake you up, get you ready and move you out the door? It may be time for you to take responsibility. Or maybe you get ready in plenty of time, but go through the last minute frustration of looking for keys, smartphone, security pass or other articles that need to come along. Or maybe you are the person who tries to cram in just one more task on your To-Do list before you head to your next appointment. Whatever the reason(s), be honest. Answer the question, “Why do I tend to run late?” Recognizing the “why” will put you in a position of finding the solution(s).
2. Build into your schedule “Hard Stops/Starts”. If you know you need to be somewhere at a certain time– And you know how long it takes to get there– Build into your schedule the transition time needed to shift your focus toward your departure. Regardless of what you are doing, tell yourself you will come to a complete stop so that you can start your departure at a specific time.
3. Be prepared. Lay out your clothes. Pack your lunch. Put your shopping bags in your vehicle. Keep your wallet, purse, keys and etc. in a consistent location. Make sure you are not scrambling for your necessities when it is time to go out the door.
4. Dismiss the ideal. The common refrain for people who are characterized by running late is “I will be on time as long as nothing goes wrong.” But we do not live in an ideal world. There will be road construction. You will find yourself behind slow traffic. Your GPS may be mistaken. Your beautiful child will poop their diaper. Therefore, assume that you will encounter some challenges to your estimated travel time. Pad your schedule. Leave earlier than you need for a best-case scenario.
5. Be okay with arriving early. People who arrive early are typically less stressed. If you have a few minutes to spare you can check your email, text that friend, check your calendar, update your status and most importantly, get yourself mentally ready for the interaction about to take place.. Train yourself to think that “on time” actually means 15 minutes early. You’ll preserve not only your sanity, but you’ll convey the message that you appreciate the time of those around you.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time,… Ephesians 5:15