“Sorry I’m late, I ran into traffic.”
“I won’t be in on time, I overslept.”
“I’m running late because of the weather.”
These are all common excuses for being late. Many employers understand an occasional incidence of lateness, but if you are chronically late to work, it won’t matter what your excuse is. Business News Daily reports over 40 percent of companies have fired someone for being late. Job opportunities are too valuable to lose them over something so basic!
Fortunately, we’ve collected the four best tips for curing chronic tardiness. Pay close attention and see if you can implement any, or all, of these tips in order to become a more punctual professional.
1. Be an Over-Estimator
Oftentimes, lateness comes from poor estimation. Your GPS app may tell you it takes 15 minutes to get to work from your house, but does it account for traffic? Bad weather could also slow your drive time considerably. And don’t forget the amount of time it takes to walk from the parking lot to the office! When estimating how long your trip will take, it’s always better to overestimate. The blog Life Hack recommends adding 25 percent to your time estimate, just to be safe. That means that if you think it takes 20 minutes to get to work, you should leave 25 minutes early.
2. Keep Yourself Busy
Some people who are habitually late are subconsciously trying to avoid the “downtime” that comes from being early. Maybe it makes you feel unproductive, self-conscious or just bored. Whatever the reason, try packing something to do in case you arrive early. You could bring a book to read or go over your planner to prepare for the day. Whatever it is, having something to fill the extra time will help motivate you to get there early.
3. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
The term “sleep hygiene” refers to all the practices and habits that help us get a good night’s rest. It includes limiting daytime naps, avoiding stimulants like caffeine in the evening and having a restful sleep environment. If you’re dragging yourself out of bed every morning, the problem might be your sleep hygiene. You can learn more about good sleep hygiene at SleepFoundation.org.
4. Alter Your Alarm System
If you’re still struggling to get out of bed, despite having good sleep habits, you may need to change the way you wake up. That might mean using a wake-up call service, setting multiple alarms across multiple devices or setting your alarm for earlier than you need to. One method many people find effective is to place their alarm clock in a separate room. Of course, you need to make sure it is still audible, but having to get out of bed to turn off an alarm can help reduce your chances of hitting “snooze.”
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