5 Ways to Avoid Being Late

By: Megan Jones

Being punctual is essential to building a good reputation in the workplace. Everyone may run late from time to time but if it becomes a consistent habit, it can hinder your work reputation. Being on time implicates proper time management and consideration for your colleague’s time. Additionally, if you run late, you may miss important information in the meeting and information or lessons having to be re-explained to you, further spending another’s colleagues or your manager’s time.  Here are 5 ways to help you avoid being late!

Why is it important to be on time?

It can be difficult to get in the habit to always be on time, but it is essential. Running late first and foremost is impolite. It implicates that your time is more valuable than your colleagues. It may discourage your manager or colleagues to working on projects with you. Additionally, it takes up unnecessary time. If you run late, you may miss important information that will have to be relayed to you at a different time. Therefore, not only did you disrupt a meeting by running late but your manager or colleague will have to take additional time to explain the information you missed. However, most detrimental of all is it can become a habit. If you run late once, or continue to push your time you run the risk of being late an unfortunate habit. Running late is not a habit you want to have for yourself or your reputation.

5 Ways to Avoid Being Late


First and foremost, reflect on why you are running late. Is it difficult to manage your time or decide how much time your commute, meeting or project will take? Are you a procrastinator? It may be more than one of these reasons. But take the time to truly reflect and try and figure out why it is happening. For me, I tend to be a little bit of a procrastinator and extend my time a little to close. It took time to reflect and figure out why I procrastinate to adjust how I approach my time.

Keep a Planner

Life is busy it can be easy to schedule back-to-back meetings or appointments. Find a way to keep yourself organized. You may prefer keeping a notebook, a handwritten calendar, an electronic calendar, or another program. For me, I use the calendar on my phone and each of my appointments has a different color. I keep my work meetings in one color, personal appointments in another color, and leisure or travel in a different color. In doing so, I can keep all my appointments organized and can better plan my schedule. Additionally, it allows me to look at everything in one place and therefore, I can plan my meetings better. Moreover, this is my favorite tool because if you have an iPhone, you can have create an alarm to go off before the meeting/appointment to remind yourself and if you have to travel you can set a travel alert and an alarm will go off when you should leave in order to get to your appointment on time. Finally, it allows me to plan “buffer time” so I don’t plan any appointments back-to-back.

Commit to Arriving Early

Once you arrive early, think about how good that can feel. If you are traveling, it allots time to find parking, or the location of your appointment. If it is a meeting, it allows you to get a seat where you can best observe. Moreover, it you arrive early, you are communicating to your colleagues that you value their time. Think about these things and then continue to plan your time, to make this a habit. When you commit to arriving early, you are creating buffer time, for traffic or other unforeseeable circumstances that would create the opportunity to run late.

Consider Under Scheduling

It can be overwhelming to jam pack your day with appointments. Schedule your time and consider pushing appointments that have the flexibility to a day when you have more availability. If you consistently schedule your days to be full, it can create unnecessary stress and further instigate the possibility of running late.

Think About Those Who are Waiting

When you run late consider how your other colleagues are feeling and the impact of your actions. When you think about how your other colleagues may be feeling and put yourself in their shoes you may realize the effect your lateness can have, and it can inhibit you from being late and increase your motivation to be on time or early.

Although, you may do your best from time to time you may run late. If you are running late, give your colleagues notice in advance and apologize for any inconvenience your delay brings. Being late happens, when it does, apologize and work towards decreasing the number of times you are running late!

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10 Ways To Not Be Late for Meetings (Why They’re Important)-Indeed

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