Being late occasionally, and being late almost every time for meetings are two different things. While one signals some sort of unexpected event or happenstance, the other is simply the result of laziness, procrastination, or inefficient time management. And while being late doesn’t look like a big deal to most tardiness-stricken individuals, it’s a serious problem.
Why is being late more serious than you think?
First of all, being late puts the overall productivity of your organization between the hammer and the anvil. Time is a shared resource, it’s never “your time”. Whenever you decide to show up late at a meeting by 5 minutes, you end up wiping 5 minutes of productivity out of everybody’s clock, because now everybody has to wait for you before they can start. And even if the meeting starts without you, your untimely arrival breaks the flow and the mood, and that’s counterproductive for both you and your organization.
Second of all, it’s extremely dangerous for you. When you’re late for a meeting, you try to cut down on your commute time. You tell the cab driver to go Dominic Torreto, godspeed!
Or better still, you put on your Michael Schumacker suit and drive like a lunatic to make it to the meeting on time. And this is extremely risky for both you and others on the road.
So quit being late to meetings and clip that badge of responsibility on your collar. Here are 10 tips to not be late for meetings anymore!
Wear a Wristwatch
Most people lose track of time and end up being late for a meeting despite having a smartphone. Every time you pull out your smartphone to look at the clock, you end up scrolling through the bottomless pit of content on social media. So just let go of the “I have a smartphone, I don’t need a watch.” argument and start wearing a wristwatch. This will get you into the habit of checking time and making sure you’re on schedule.
Early Reminders Might Help!
Individuals with tardiness as a dominant trait love living on the edge. They love the thrill of just making it on time (which they rarely do). If you’re one of them, try putting in early reminders. Depending on how late you usually get for meetings, the early reminder can be anywhere between 15-30 mins prior to the meeting. And make sure you act on these reminders as well because it doesn’t make sense otherwise. The reminders are your wake-up call, start approaching the meeting spot as soon as you get the reminder.
Observe and Figure Out Why you’re Late
If you’re late for a meeting almost every time, then it’s time for you to locate the problem. It may be because you lose track of time, or because it takes longer to reach the spot than you imagined, or it’s simply because you procrastinated up until the last moment. Every one of these problems can be solved with a little effort, lose track of time? Use an alarm clock. Miscalculated the commute time? Add an extra buffer to your schedule. But before you can solve a problem, you need to identify it.
Cut Down Distractions
There are things at your workplace you enjoy alongside your work like chatting with colleagues, sipping coffee on your comfy spot, or scrolling through social media to reset your productivity. These are all distractions, and before you get your knives out, we don’t mean that in a negative sense. In fact, we encourage our employees to engage in fun activities, and conversations. It bolsters teamwork. But you should recognize distractions that cost you punctuality and cut them down without mercy. Because now it’s a question of your reputation and the overall productivity of your workplace.
Set Multiple Alarms
For those who overestimate their speed, and underestimate that of the clock, try putting up multiple alarms before the meeting. Break down the entire process of showing up for a meeting in multiple steps, i.e getting ready, commuting time, and showing up for the meeting. Put a time frame on every step, and set an alarm for each step. Follow every alarm and try to complete one step before the second alarm goes off. This approach will categorically eliminate any unwarranted time loss.
Using a calender is the best way to get organized. Being late is often the aftermath of an unorganized schedule. You’re late because you didn’t anticipate how much time it would take for you to finish a certain task, and you most certainly scheduled a meeting right after a task that you thought would take two hours, but took more than that and now you’re late. Add a buffer between tasks on your calendar, and never schedule meetings right after a task. A calendar will help you get things in order.
Loosen Up Your Schedule
Don’t try to fit in more meetings in your schedule than you can handle. People often overestimate the amount of work they can do in a day, and that caused them punctuality or quality. Always check your schedule before you say yes to a meeting, and if you’re not sure whether you can make it to the meeting on time or not, don’t say yes to the meeting in the first place. A series of meeting stacked one over the other on your calendar is simply a wake-up call for you to loosen up your schedule.
Ask Colleagues to Check in on You
Everyone has a workplace buddy that they love to chat with and they can help you get to meetings on time. Ask your colleague to check in on you half an hour before an important meeting. A better approach would be to ask someone in the same meeting as you to do this, because even if you are running late or can’t make it on time, at least they can keep the other members updated and maintain a healthy flow in the meeting. This early reminder will also ensure that you are in a better position to be on time.
Propose Smarter Workplace Check-Ins
Imagine running late for a meeting, but eventually making it to your workplace 2 minutes before the meeting, only to be shut off by obsolete log-book-based check-in and security. You could’ve made it to the meeting on time if your workplace relied on smarter digital check-in tools like Vizitor. A prudent step to avoid such events in the future would be to recommend Vizitor to your manager for a faster, smoother, and more secure check-in experience for you and all your colleagues. You can learn more about how a visitor management system like Vizitor can add more value to your business here.
Learn to say ‘No’!
There’s no merit in saying ‘Yes’ to meetings you have no time for. There’s only so much time you have and you can’t be everywhere. Learn to prioritize important meetings and stop stacking more meetings on your calendar. It will just make you more anxious and erratic. Learn to say ‘No’ to meetings when you’re running on a tight schedule.
The right business management system can help streamline processes and enable more efficient management of time and resources. And time management is essential for greater productivity and better synergies in a workplace. Vizitor is a great business management system with a suite of powerful tools at a wallet-friendly price. Feel free to contact us for any queries you might have. We would love to extend this conversation forward!!