The Importance of Being Punctual at Work [HCP]
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Why is it important to be punctual at your job?
This is what you'll learn in today's Habit Change Profile.
First we'll cover how a punctuality habit can help you improve your job success. Then I'll provide a simple strategy where you can permanently change the “lateness habit” and become an early arrival who gets more done during the workday.
This information has a direct impact on your ability to hold a job and get a promotion.
So pay close attention to what you're about to learn.
The Importance of Being Punctual
Probably the best way to set yourself up for work success is to get to work at least 15 minutes before you need to be there.
What most people usually do is scoot in just as the day starts.
This creates a lot of work-related problems like:
- Anxiety over how your coworkers perceive you
- Speeding on the way to work
- Inability to smile and greet coworkers pleasantly
- Lack of planning time before you have to dive into actual work
- In a nutshell, unnecessary stress
This habit also puts you at risk for:
- A computer that won’t start up right away, making you late
- A parking complication or other unforeseen troubles with transportation
- Realizing you didn’t finish that report that is due first thing in the morning
- A “scatterbrained” appearance which ultimately impacts your chances at a promotion
If you always arrive early, you will build in a cushion that will protect you from undue stress. It’s the best way to arrive at work calm, positive, relaxed and guilt-free.
Arrive 15 Minutes Early
The simplest plan for being punctual at work is to arrive 15 minutes early. This might sound easy on paper, but life often gets in the way of completing this goal.
So here is a simple step-by-step strategy to make sure this happens:
- Track how long it takes to get ready in the morning
- Know how long it takes to commute to work – in a “worst case” scenario
- Add 33% more time to the total time of your morning routine and commute
- Avoid checking email or voicemail before walking out the door
- Arrange all your important items the night before
- Never let your gas tank go under a 1/4 full
- Do a fun activity while driving, like listening to a Podcast, so you'll look forward to the drive
It doesn't take a lot to be more punctual at your job. Just follow this seven-step strategy and you'll be on time – every time.
A Mantra to Remember
Punctuality is a mindset I developed in the military. My old commander had a mantra that he made us memorize:
- Early is on time
- On time is late
- Late is unacceptable
You need to arrive early every time. It's not something you do occasionally. Instead, the “punctuality habit” should be a permanent fixture in how to approach any professional and personal appointment.