Late To Work Again?

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Being punctual is instilled in some people. For others, it might seem like it’s impossible to be punctual as if the universe is working against them to cause them delays.

If you’re one of those who can’t seem to manage your time properly and regularly find yourself to be one of the last person to walk in the door, your punctuality record may be a problem in the long run and that’s when complications start to kick in.

Don’t throw in the towel just yet however, the truth is, there are no secret recipes or formulas for getting to work on time. In fact, the solutions are a simple set of habitual traits of procedures, organization and planning. Fret not, because here are some tips to help you:

1. Get your stuff ready the night before

Ever find yourself caught in the “decisions, decisions” kind of scenario when trying to pick out your wardrobe? Desperately tearing the house apart because you can’t seem to find your car keys when you’re already running late? Starting your car only to find out that your car is running low on fuel?

If you find yourself repeating these situations over and over, then perhaps you need to prepare the things that you need to execute in advance.

Select your clothes and lay them out so that you won’t have to spend minutes every day deciding what to wear. If you’re planning on preparing your own meals then get the ingredients ready the night before.

Pack everything that you need to bring along into your bags and leave your keys, socks, wallet and phone at one designated spot so that you won’t scramble searching for them and can grab them on your way out of the door – killing a few birds with one stone.

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2. Keep a checklist

List down the things that you need to both bring and prepare for work ahead of time. Keep it simple, short and concise, but detailed. If you want to be on the safe side, make extra copies of your checklist just in case if you misplaced the original one.

If you’re concerned about the environment and saving trees, then you could always utilize technology by using mobile apps such as simplest checklist, checklist or Google Keep to keep you actively reminded.


There are plenty of apps out there that could provide you better time management. (Image credit:
There are plenty of apps out there that could provide you better time management. (Image credit:


3. Get out of bed early


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It’s hard to get out of bed when you’re all warm and cozy that’s understandable, but if you find getting out of bed taxing, it boils down to mainly two things: 1) You lack sufficient sleep and 2) You find it extremely challenging to get out of bed, especially psychologically.

If you lack sufficient sleep, it’s only natural that you’re too tired to get out of bed. The solution then is that you should go to bed earlier and get at least 7 hours of sleep a day. Going to bed earlier not only ensures that you have enough sleep, but also complements your health. Furthermore, you’ll have ample time to prepare for your day.

Give yourself plausible reasons as motivation to wake up early, whether if it’s a reward – like food or something that you need to complete, or something that you can look forward to by waking up early in the morning. You’ll soon find those “another 5 minutes” to stay in bed excuses slowly disappearing. If you’re both excited and looking forward to go to work then this probably won’t even be a burden to you.

With just a simple act of psychology, you won’t find getting up a psychological barrier and tiresome but instead you will both look forward and feel eager to start your day positively.


4. Prepare for contingency

You’re out of your house early, pleased and confident of arriving early to work. You already picture the euphoric look on your boss’s face when he/she sees you early for the meeting. But then something unexpected occurred: the train stalled. Your car won’t start. An accident happened and caused a massive traffic delay.

Granted, accidents do happen and you can’t predict them, but you can anticipate them. You need to prepare for these kind of consequences and have at least a contingency plan.

Perhaps you can take measures such as ensuring that you service your car regularly or checking for updates on traffic delays before you leave your house, so that you can take a different route. At the very least you’ll have the time not just to formulate a plan B, but a plan C, D and E as well.


5. Set the time of your clocks, watches and phone to an earlier time

Change the time of the clocks and watches in your home (including your phone) 15, 20, or 25 minutes earlier from the actual time if it’s possible, so that not only will you wake up and sleep earlier, but you’ll be early for meetings as well. In fact, everything that you do is ahead of time and you won’t have to worry about punctuality.


6. Make it a habitual process

Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, eventually your biological clock will get accustomed to it and you’ll find yourself actively awake without needing to hit the snooze button. Once it’s a habit, getting up early will come naturally for you as you’ll also find yourself ready to wake up instead of having to wake up.


7. Don’t sweat the small stuffs

Of course, getting up early doesn’t necessarily guarantee punctuality. Try to focus your energy on the bigger picture – like what you should really be spending your energy and effort on. Some of us might wake up early, but we spend too much of our precious time on insignificant things such as mulling over what to wear to work and spending too much time in the bathroom all because we take advantage of having that extra time to spare. If we waste too much time on such things, whatever time leverage we have, will never be enough.

You’re up early for because obviously you want to achieve something important.  Don’t get distracted by the small things and lose your course.


8. Train yourself to take punctuality seriously


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Maybe you think that being on time doesn’t really matter especially in a culture like Malaysia where it’s a generally acceptable norm, but this will affect you both as a person as well as a professional on many levels.

Firstly, people might not trust you to handle big responsibilities because of your poor time management.

Secondly, if you don’t take being punctual seriously, there’s a high possibility that you might not take other responsibilities seriously as well. How you discipline yourself to take control of your life and the standards that you set for yourself can been seen through your actions. No matter how hard you try to convince your superiors, action speaks louder than words.

And lastly, people might get upset if you keep them waiting all the time. Eventually, you’ll be infamously known for your bad habit and it might be the thing that people associate you with. You don’t want a bad reputation looming over your head do you? As William Shakespeare famously once said: “Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.”