Full disclosure here, I kind of laughed when my colleague asked me to write this blog. I’m not awful when it comes to being on time, but definitely not known for being early either! While I’d love to use my two sweet children or my husband as my excuse, the truth is I’m accountable for me.
I think that is the key – you are accountable for you. And being on time for work says something to your employer about how accountable you are to the business. Now, I recognize that many organizations have flexibility when it comes to this topic, so take that into consideration and follow (or exceed) the norm.
While I think a lot of getting to work on time is just doing it, here are a few things that I’ve found helpful to motivate and keep me running on time.
1. Create a consistent morning routine – even if you can’t use it every day at least the majority of the time you’ll wake up with a plan and can easily act on that plan. No thinking through what needs to be done next.
2. Obvious — plan for some extra time. There are so many things that can throw of your routine. Even an extra 10 to 15 minutes can cover most last-minute emergencies. If you don’t use it, use the time to take a deep breath, enjoy your coffee in the comfort of your home (instead of in a mad dash on the car ride into work) or enjoying the newspaper/news. If you deal with traffic, you’ll get to work early and can enjoy that coffee at your desk or get a head start before others are in.
3. Plan things that get you up and going. I’m fortunate, during the school year my kids’ school bus arrives early. Rather than getting ready after the bus leaves, I get ready as my kids do and follow the bus into town and then off to work, putting me in the office early. For some, this could be an early morning gym class or exercise routine. For others, it might be intentional ‘me time’ before everyone else wakes up. Figure out what this is for you.
4. Start your workday with something that you love or that excites you. I’m not naïve to think that everyone wakes up just super excited to get to work and start their day. Hopefully more days than not, that motivation is there. Help this by planning to work on something you really enjoy right off the bat. Think about what that is the day before, so when you wake, you can be mindful of this opportunity. Example – I like to plan and organize. While I know a lot of productivity experts would frown on this, I wait to plan my day until the morning of. From there, I work on the things that I’m most passionate about first. This works for me because my most productive time is the afternoon and by then I’m onto the things that take a little more mental focus/effort.
I bet we all have our own little things that help us get to where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there. These are just a few of mine. What are some of yours?
Check out this article on our Employer blog for managing your commute.