A Forbes self-reported study showed that 19 percent of Americans admit to being late to work at least once a week. I was not surprised to read this. but what about those of you that are late for everything beyond work? Yes, even 2-5 minutes late - is late. Take a moment and evaluate your punctuality. Are you constantly 2-3 minutes late for everything or 5-10 minutes late for everything or even 15 minutes late on a regular basis? If you fit into one of these “late” categories ask yourself - why? Why do you allow yourself to let time control you?
Now that you are self discovering why you allow yourself to be late I have some tips to help you take back your time so you can be on time! Ask yourself two questions:
1) How do you feel about time? Do you feel guilty about always being late? Do you feel like you never get enough done in a day? Do you always feel like you are rushing?
2) How do you speak about time? Do you say, “I am going to be late” a lot? Do you complain that there is not enough time in the day? Do you disregard timelines? Tip #1: Now that you have answered the questions above you need to - stop and breathe! Yes, slow down and breathe deeply. When you slow down to breath you activate your parasympathetic nervous system and this engages your relaxation response and when you internally feel calm throughout your day your external reality will feel less aggressive. This is a perfect example of why changing what is going on within you will change what is going on around you. Tip #2: Change your mindset about time. Tell yourself calming empowering thoughts about time that will put you back in the driver's seat of your day. Ground yourself to ground your energy. Say, “I create my time.” “I use my time for things that matter and move me towards my goals.” “I have as much time as I need because I have a plan for my time and day.” Tip #3: Track your time for an entire day. Track every little thing you do for one day. Track the minutes in the shower, driving to work, returning emails, even every minute you are online with social media. You may find that tracking yourself for one day will open your eyes to where your time is going. Be honest and specific when you track your time. If you are on Facebook for six minutes - track it “Facebook 1:22 p.m. - 1:28 p.m.” Tip #4: Write down the top three things that you care about in your life, again be specific. For example I care about creating lasting relationships that empower others. I also care about my overall health which is the food I eat everyday and the time I take to move my body and the mindset I carry everyday. These are two examples. Tip #5: Reevaluate every minute on tracked. Do the minutes spent during your day go with the top priorities of your life? Do your actions align with the things you care about? Tip #6: When planning your day focus on only 2-3 big things and schedule time for each of them with giving the most challenging task attention first. If you have a bunch of things you need to get done - do not try and focus on all of them at once. Pick your top three things and schedule them into your day. Tip #7: Use a time calendar for your day verse a check list. Schedule your task and attach a time of day with what you need to accomplish. This helps keep you on track and will help you control your time during the day. Tip #8: Delegate things you do not like doing or that you can have someone else do to save you time. For example: If you have spent five hours every week cleaning at home figure out how much that five hours of your time is worth? Can you pay a college student or high school student $10 an hour to clean for you. Is laundry your nemesis? Can you hire someone to do your laundry and keep your closets organized? What about maintaining your website? Or organizing paperwork? If it takes up too much time, you don't enjoy doing it and you can pay someone else a rate that actually saves you money - you should delegate. Tip #9: Automate Activities: Have payments and bills paid automatic. Have some investments and savings set aside automatically. Set up your personal care appointments six months in advance or yearly. I have a standing facial appointment I go to on the first Tuesday of every Month at 4:00 p.m.. I even paid up front for all of my appointments, so I show up, have a relaxing time and I am on my way immediately after. I don't spend another 5-10 minutes waiting to pay at the end and taking time to schedule my next appointment. You can take one hour at the beginning of the year and set up all your doctor’s appointments, teeth cleaning appointments etc for you and your family. Get them on your calendar! Tip #10: Get an accountability coach! Have someone that you check in with once a week, so you stay on track and can be a reminder of what you want. An accountability coach is vital to a successful life. They can help you let go of the idea that you have to be perfect and help you see that progress is your best friend. You can hire an accountability coach through happywholeyou.com and you and your coach will schedule a quick 20 minute call every week or every other week depending on your needs. Or find a friend or coworker that would keep you accountable. You are in the driver's seat and time is your friend!