Although apparently fashionable to be late, tardiness really isn’t a desirable trait. As someone who is incredibly punctual, I thought I would share my tips to managing your time and getting places on the clock.
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The subject of timeliness (mine in particular) has come up a number of times with different people in the last few days. In fact, Jenelle from Inspiring Wit actually encouraged me to write about my timeliness, and shed some light on how I always manage to be bang on time. So, this one goes out to all of the perpetually late people out there!
I am the type of person who frets if they show up on time. Yes, I fret when I am on time. I am so conditioned to arriving places at least 10 minutes early, that when I pull up on time, I may as well be late. Those 10 extra minutes I have when I arrive give me a chance to get myself together, quickly check my phone for any important notifications (so I don’t have to be on my phone where ever it is that I am going) and take my time making my way to where I need to be. Plus, it means I get first pickings of the drinks, food and seating when I arrive!
I have always been punctual. Always. I take a very strong viewpoint on tardiness, purely because I think it is rude (unless you have an exceptionally good reason). You see, everyone’s time is equally as precious as the next person’s. When someone arrives late to an arranged meeting, a party or simply a catch up, it is implying that they do not value the other party’s time. To me, it is a sign of disrespect. Unless – of course – there is prior warning that a timely arrival may not be on the cards.
So, how can you work on your punctuality if it isn’t something that is currently in your vocabulary?
First of all, always know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. A simple Google maps check is all it takes to work this out. Once you know where you are going and how long it will take, always whack an extra 10-15 minutes on to that estimated time. You never know what sort of traffic you might encounter or how many red lights you will cop. These extra 10-15 minutes then become your extra minutes upon arrival, should your trip go smoothly.
Secondly, get a good grasp on how long it takes you to get ready to go out. Fortunately, my showering and prep routine takes me a maximum of 45 minutes. On average, 30 minutes is a safe amount of time to allocate to getting ready. Now, I realise that for some people, this is vastly different. No stress – just get a good understanding of how long it takes you to get ready. Having a solid time frame for your prep activities is crucial in getting to places on time. Start your routine too late, and you’re already set for a late arrival, even if your trip goes as planned. It is science.
Finally, but most importantly, you have to stop okaying tardiness. It is easy enough to be annoyed at your late coming if you get locked out of a performance because of it, but not as easy when there are no repercussions other than an embarrassed apology to the host/person you were supposed to meet. But, you have to change your mindset if you truly want to make a change.
If you no longer want to be arriving places late, don’t allow yourself to brush a late arrival off so easily.
If all else fails, you can always do what my mum did; set all of your clocks to be 10 minutes fast. Ask someone else to do it for you though, so you don’t realise when it has been done!