One of the biggest complaints made by managers all around the world is that employees consistently get to work late. Not only does it affect the company's – and your own – overall productivity and the general morale among your team, but it can stress you out and leave other people questioning just how reliable you are.
It can also be interpreted as a lack of respect for what you do and the people you work with, which can lead to more serious problems down the line. In many cases, if this behaviour goes on for a long period of time, you could experience warnings from management and, in the worst-case scenario, even lose your job.
However, punctuality doesn't come naturally to everyone. The good news is that, like everything else, it can be learned. If you're having trouble getting to the office on time, here are nine tips to help you put an end to your tardiness and learn how to be on time for work.
1. Work out how long it takes you to get to work
The first thing you need to do is to sit down and calculate how long it takes you to get to work each day. If you use public transport, think about what time you get on the bus or the train, and how long it usually takes to reach your destination. If you drive to work, consider how heavy the traffic is likely to be, how many traffic lights you may have to stop at, and so on.
2. Give yourself a little extra time
Once you've figured out how long it would take you to get to work, make sure to give yourself an additional fifteen minutes on top of that. This accounts for any potential traffic jams and other things that are completely out of your control.
3. Don't check your emails
It may sound simple and quite insignificant, but not checking your emails or voicemails in the morning will save you a considerable amount of time. The reason for this is that it always takes longer than you expect.
You pick up your phone, thinking to yourself it will only take a couple minutes, but by the time you finish reading your emails, you've already wasted half an hour and you're running late. If you want to avoid this, try not to check your emails until you get to work.
4. Organize everything the night before
If you're constantly struggling with waking up in the morning - like many of us - then try to organize everything you will need for the day the night before. If you need a shirt ironed, polished shoes, or even some sandwiches for lunch, then try doing these before you go to bed. Not having to worry about any of these in the morning will save you a great amount of time and help you be on time for work.
5. Set an earlier alarm
If you're guilty of hitting the snooze button, try setting your alarm 5-10 minutes before you intend to wake up. This way, you will still have some time before you need to get out of bed and will be less likely to oversleep.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleeping in shouldn't ever be an excuse, unless you are not feeling well. To avoid oversleeping, make sure to get enough sleep the night before. Always try to go to bed 7-8 hours before you need to wake up, otherwise you'll feel tired when you open your eyes in the morning and probably feel too lazy to get out of bed.
7. Have a backup plan
If you know that, for whatever reason, you might be late to work, make sure to have a backup plan. Whether it's getting a taxi to work or asking your partner or a friend to take you, it doesn't matter – but be prepared for a worst-case scenario.
8. Avoid rush hour
Depending on what time you start work in the morning this can be quite a difficult one for many people, but if you can, try to avoid rush hour. Rush hour is notorious for traffic jams and slow public transport, and it makes travelling to work so much more stressful and unbearable. So if you can, try to leave a bit earlier and you'll save yourself a considerable amount of time and frustration.
9. Know your public transport timetable
If you use public transport to commute to work, make sure you know what times your train, bus or tube leaves from your nearest station. This way, you'll know what time you need to leave in order to get there, and get to work on time.
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