Have you ever been in this situation? There’s been a meeting schedule. Everyone is on-time except for the person who has scheduled the meeting? Or your friends have invited you out for dinner. Only they show up half an hour later with no explanation given.
How does that make you feel?
Frustrated. Upset. Abused. Uncared for.
Emotions like these course through my body when others are late. I’m sure they do for you as well. It’s only natural.
But what if you’re the person who always runs late? Do you know that people view you in a negative light?
They may think:
- You don’t care about the people you made plans for
- You’re egotistical
- You can’t be trusted
- You are unreliable
Being late lands crushing blows to your reputation. Friends will fade away. Business deals could be lost. Relationships are strained.
Wow! Those thoughts can be painful. That’s not how you want to be thought of, is it?
There’s great news. You can change your constant lateness and become someone who is dependable and on time.
All it takes is a practice and planning.
- When you schedule an event, make sure there’s nothing immediately proceeding or following the start and end time. Give yourself anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes of leeway. It may seem like a waste of time but planning the time buffer helps save your reputation.
- Create an alarm that will alert you to the meeting. Make sure it goes off an hour beforehand. Then half an hour. And a third time at 15 minutes. The alarms will be annoying but they should catch your attention.
- Think about how you feel when others are late. Sometimes there’s no better motivator than putting yourself into the shoes of others and feeling their pain. Allow yourself to feel the disappointment and frustration your employees or friends feel. Let that motivate you to be on time.
- Ask a friend to be an accountability partner. This sure sounds ridiculous but having an accountability partner will make you accountable to someone else. If you continue in the habit of being late you will now have one more disappointed person. We don’t want that!
- Start telling yourself that you’re a person that shows up on time. Sometimes we need to reprogram our thoughts. If you’re someone who tells yourself that you’re always late, you’re feeding into the negative system. Change your thoughts and you can change your attitude.
Begin today in your effort to correct this bad habit. Take the steps listed and work them into your scheduling system.
Before long you’ll begin to see the change start to take place. You’ll become someone who is on time.
People will see you as trustworthy, dependable, and caring. Who doesn’t want that?
Question: How do you feel when someone is late to a meeting? How does it make you feel about them? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.