Whether you're currently seeking employment or if you are a seasoned professional, something everyone should be concerned with is timeliness. Everyone is guilty of being late for something, be that a work meeting or a dinner with friends. While your friends may forgive your lateness, a potential employer won't. Even if you are chronically late or missing deadlines, there's still a couple of changes you can make to help your timeliness. Try out a few of our favorite timeliness tips and watch your timeliness improve.
Plan for Travel & Arrive Early
We've all been there, Google tells you it's a 20 minute drive to the office but the day of it takes you over 30. Stumbling in late is never a good look for anyone, so there are a few ways to can try and prevent this from happening. The easiest way to prevent this is to plan on arriving early and planning for some extra travel time. That way if you eat up the extra travel time you budgeted for, you're still not rushing to make it through the door on time and can take a few minutes to breathe and relax before your meeting or interview.
Set Deadlines & Stick to Them
If you struggle with procrastination to the point that you have difficulty meeting deadlines, there's an easy fix to that. Set separate deadlines for yourself and stick to them. Try setting these deadlines anywhere from a week to a few days before it actually is due and make yourself stick to that deadline. Doing this can have two different, but positive, outcomes. Either you will have your project done a few days early and can spent the free days either relaxing or revising it, or you will have a couple of days to get it done by its deadline if you already missed the one you set for yourself. While ideally you will stick to the deadline you set for yourself, it still allows for you to meet the deadline even if you miss that one.
Schedule Out Your Day
Another good way to improve your timeliness is to schedule out your day with small breaks between all your tasks. By setting these breaks, you not only give yourself some buffer room between meeting in case one runs long but you also allow yourself some time to refocus on the task at hand. This will make sure that you are still on time even if you're running a little behind schedule. Plus, scheduling out your day can also increase your productivity.
Call Ahead of Time
If you know ahead of time, or at least have a good feeling, that you will be late, call and let your boss or the person you're meeting with know before the time you are supposed to be there. Strolling in after your scheduled time without calling or calling after you are already late can come across like you think being 10 minutes late is acceptable and that you don’t respect their time. While it does not make being late ok, it will show that you do have concern for their time and lessen the blow from being late.
Timeliness is important no matter what stage you're at in your career or your life. It not only shows that you have respect for other peoples time, but also shows that you are able to budget your time appropriately which can go a long way in the professional world.