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7 time management tips for people who are late. All. The. Damn. Time

HONG KONG — At some point or other, everyone is late for something. It’s easy to lose track of time, or believe an event starts later than it does. But if you are that person who is always last to turn up to a party, always has to sneak into a cinema 10 minutes after the movie begins, and always has to reschedule appointments because you just didn't get there on time, that's more likely a time-management problem.

7 time management tips for people who are late. All. The. Damn. Time

HONG KONG — At some point or other, everyone is late for something. It’s easy to lose track of time, or believe an event starts later than it does. But if you are that person who is always last to turn up to a party, always has to sneak into a cinema 10 minutes after the movie begins, and always has to reschedule appointments because you just didn't get there on time, that's more likely a time-management problem.

Being able to manage time is very important, academically, professionally, and socially. Constantly being late may give others the impression that you think your time is more important than theirs. Making other people wait for you before they can order at a restaurant or set off on a trip might be okay once or twice, but after that it begins to look disrespectful.

Here are seven ways to get your time-management skills up to scratch.

1. KEEP A TO-DO-LIST

Sometimes, people are late because they forget about activities or events. Having a to-do list is handy, because it is a visual reminder of the things you’re aiming to accomplish today/this week/this month. It’s much harder to forget about something when it’s written down in front of you.

Make a habit of checking your list every day – it might take conscious effort at first, but it will eventually become second nature.

2. GET AHEAD OF TIME

Set your watch so that it reads five minutes earlier than it the real time — so, if it’s noon, your watch should read 12.05 pm. This might help convince your brain that you need to get ready five minutes earlier than you normally do, which might then mean you arrive at a place or an activity five minutes earlier than you normally would. But don’t think, “Oh well, my watch is five minutes fast, so I don’t need to hurry”, because that defeats the whole purpose!

3. AVOID DISTRACTIONS

If you’re getting ready to go to somewhere, then don’t put off your preparations by doing other things. Focus on the task at hand — if, for example, you are going to an interview, then don’t wander off to check your emails while you’re getting dressed. You can check your emails afterwards. Really, don't be late for an interview.

4. PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME

Do you find yourself running back home to pick up an item you forgot to pack? Save yourself the trouble by preparing the things you need the night before — lay out your kit the night before an interview, for example. That way, you won’t be making unnecessary trips back and forth to pick up an extra pen, or your lucky socks, or travel card.

5. PLAN YOUR JOURNEY

If you are making an unfamiliar journey, plan to leave far earlier than you do when headed to somewhere you know well. Be sure to look at a map before you set out; and check Google Maps or news sites for travel updates before you even get near the door. You don’t want to get caught in a traffic jam along the way, or get lost.

If you do notice there’s something that might make your journey longer than expected, then you can plan an alternative route to your destination.

6. GET A GOOD NIGHT'S REST

More sleep means you’re more alert. Being more alert means you’re less likely to be late to events. If you wake up before your alarm goes off, rather than spending an extra few minutes in bed, you can use that time to get ahead of your schedule, and be the first to arrive somewhere.

7. SET DEADLINES OR TIME LIMITS

Give yourself a time limit on tasks that you need to accomplish, or set deadlines for them. For instance, if you need to have a shower before going out for the day, tell yourself you will take no more than five minutes. Promise yourself that you will have completed a chore before the hour is up.

If you make a deadline, then reward yourself with something small, like a tasty snack or a five-minutes play on a gaming app. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST 

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