3 Ways to Easily Keep Your Time Management Resolution
Tips to Ensure you are On Time – Every Time
Did you make a New Year’s resolution to be better with your time? That’s awesome! Your punctuality says a lot about you. Being tardy can negatively impact your business relationships. Whenever you schedule a coffee meeting, phone call, or a company meeting, it’s important to show up on time. Being late has consequences that can range from feeling frazzled to losing a big deal.
There’s a saying … early is on time, on time is late, and late is just wrong. I realize that occasionally unexpected things come up, but when you follow the tips below, you’ll reduce your chances of being late.
1) Don’t Over Schedule
It’s easy to be overly optimistic about how much we can get done in a day. However, being realistic about what you can really accomplish helps you stay on time. Don’t over commit. It’s better to stagger projects so you avoid stacking too many tasks on top of each other which can put you behind schedule. Staggering smooths the workload peaks and valleys. This means you may have to say ‘no’ more often to other people’s requests that can pull you off schedule.
2) Set Reminders
Ever have a few minutes before your next meeting and tried to squeeze in a small task? You get involved, lose track of time, and then you are late for your scheduled appointment. It happens to the best of us. Next time you have a few spare minutes, set an alarm reminder on your phone before you start the task. You’ll get some work done without being tardy for the meeting. Another trick for timeliness is using calendar pop-up countdown reminders before the meeting start time. I’d suggest one at 30 minutes prior and one at 5 minutes prior, so it’s hard to be late.
3) Don’t Underestimate Durations
When you actually time how long it takes to complete a task, you may find that something takes longer than you think. Little things add up to several minutes. For example, putting on your coat, grabbing your bag, and finding your keys can add up to 5 minutes to your commute. Perhaps you plan to drive by the post office to drop some letters in the mail, too. That adds another few minutes to your journey. When you don’t factor in the small items that seem inconsequential, you become late. I know because I used to do this myself. Now, I plan ahead. I place all of the items I need near the garage door the night before a meeting. Everything is ready to go and I don’t get frazzled wasting time gathering my things. I scoop up the pile and get on my way.
A recent article in Forbes shares why being late is not okay. The author explains how tardiness negatively impacts other people around us. Luckily, it’s easy to make small adjusts to eliminate running behind.
So now that you will be arriving early, your new on-time, how do you spend those extra minutes? The solution is filler tasks. These are items you can do in under 5 minutes. Here are a few ideas:
- Return a phone call
- Delegate one item to your assistant
- Read a blog in your industry
- Check your calendar for the next day
- Send a text to a friend or family member just to say ‘hello’
Just be sure to set a timer so you don't lose track of time with filler tasks. Remember, it’s easy to try to squeeze in one more thing, which then makes you late.
I encourage you to use your time right now to create a specific, day-by-day action plan to grow your business in 2018. Identify the exact activities you need to do to triple your business income. Don’t put this off or you will be playing catch up while your competition speeds past you.
For those in Denver, let’s create your individual business plan together. If you live elsewhere, we can chat about how this works over Skype. Learn more at: www.NancyGaines.com/WORKSHOP.