Tired of getting late to your office daily? Facing difficulties in meeting scheduled timelines? Criticized for missing fixed appointments/deadlines ? If the answer is Yes, stay tuned, you’re gonna get through the art of never getting late. Learn it, master it, and enact it in your life. Time management is an inevitable science to adopt. Art being shared here is probably one of the major time management tools to adopt.
Considering a case of two individuals: Adam and Harris.
Adam is famous for being punctual and is endorsed for this quality by his bosses, peers, colleagues, friends, and family. May it be a social gathering or a corporate business deal, Adam values his words and is always there on time. Even though if an emergency confronts Adam, he owes to inform the people awaiting his arrival.
Harris, the second guy, holds a personage contrast of Adam. He moves in a relaxant mode, where commitment isn’t meant to be worried about much, leverage of ease is always kept with the deadlines. He firmly believes that the world is too imperfect to be taken seriously and that the system’s irreversibilities are definite to come across in our commitments. Hence, getting late to office becomes the norm, missing schedules is taken as an obvious thing, delayed joining of gathering as per him should be understandable. He believes that happy go lucky lifestyle is the way to go.
A billion-dollar question: Who would you hire?
Given the two options, Adam and Harris, I believe the decision would be for the one who will take care of his commitments, shall be punctual to office, habitual of meeting deadlines in business relations, must value his appointments.
Definitely, you will opt for Adam.
And if asked, why is it so? You can supposedly estimate some attributes to both of these, and can surely justify your choice. If we craft a comparison between the characteristics of both individuals, the following shape will emanate:
Which person will you like to be?
If your answer is Harris, thank you very much for reading till point, you may quit reading further to save your time. However, if you want to be Adam, welcome on board!
The Art Of Never Being Late
It comprises of simple steps that need to be taken appropriately to cascade ourselves the characteristics and attributes mentioned for Adam above.
1. Plan your resources ahead
There is a phenomenal quote by Abraham Lincoln,
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
The quote resonates an idea that to ensure your success, you will spend more than half of your time in planning/preparing your resources and yourself to meet the challenges incurred.
You need to check out your resources, in advance, required to execute your commitment.
Let’s do it with an exercise, you are to appear in a job interview scheduled for 08:00 am, we will be elaborating this very same exercise till the end of our article for compact learning.
For this, you will definitely be needing the following gadgets/ assortments:
> Your conveyance: If you have a car, get it fueled a night earlier and make sure that the vehicle is workable.
> Your attire: The dress you need to wear, make sure it’s washed, pressed and is reachable for you.
> Required documents: In case your interviewers demand prerequisites to come with, e.g., your resume, academic certifications, etc., get them arranged a day before.
2. Time estimation of your activities
If you are going on a journey, divide the whole trip in all the activities involved in moving to a particular spot, and estimate their required time. Begin with the end, i.e., start from the destination spot, the time you have to be there, and move backward.
Likewise, if an assignment is to be submitted, begin from the submission date, bring in all the activities required, and estimate the time needed for them.
Be calm, sit down and calculate the steps that activity might incur, individually approximate the time for each step and then add it up; the more complex the activity is, the more steps you should divide the task into.
For instance, moving with the same exercise initiated above, where you are to appear in a job interview as scheduled for 08:00 am. So, for this, you need to work backward from the time that you plan to be at the venue and estimate the time that it requires you to be ready and move to the spot from your accommodation.
By doing so, you will end up, somehow, with the following picture:
So for an interview at 08:00 am, you got to start by 06:40 am. Hope you enjoyed the exercise, intriguing part of it is the more you break up an activity, the more you reach a realistic picture.
You may apply the same concept for other activities of life.
3. Induct Buffer time
Considering the above-discussed example/case, let’s assume that you are on the way to your job interview, suddenly one of the tires of your vehicle gets punctured, and you will be spending next 10 minutes on replacing it with spare wheel, your drive of 40 minutes, as mentioned in above exercise, shall be prolonged to 50 minutes.
So with the above estimation in view, with all other elements unchanged, you will reach for your interview at 08:10 am, instead of 08:00 am. Do you think it is acceptable?
Of course not.
Practically, there could be any other similar mishap, for instance, a traffic jam that could deteriorate your punctuality, despite the smart time estimation done.
What to do then?
Here, the need for ‘buffer’ comes in!
Buffer time is the time required for an activity that accounts for delays.
So, coming back to the same exercise of joining an interview, you will begin at 06:30 am, instead of 06:40 am, with 10 minutes of buffer incorporated.
Buffer time will not necessarily be 10 minutes for all the cases, it shall be calculated based on the possible discontinuities associated with that particular activity for which the buffer is being estimated.
What if buffer remains unused?
To some, losing the extra time kept as a buffer can be a time wasted if we go smooth and unhurt. No, it won’t be wasted, you can engage yourself with a compelling activity like reading an ebook, listening to audio lectures over your cell phone, calling your contact for an upcoming meeting, or simply, relax and take your time to get calm and sync with the environment, this could serve you better.
4. Tomorrow starts with tonight
Well, that’s for sure. Prepare your to-do list before you sleep, get yourself to bed considering the time you have to start the next day, avoid bulky and mind cracking activities late at night, which can prolong unpredictably, and can hurdle tomorrow’s schedule.
By doing so, you will move in a stress-free mode, this wouldn’t add into your punctuality alone, but the quality of your performance shall visibly be improved.
Try out the same for different exercises with your real-life projects, and let us know your feedback.
For any further advice and suggestion, you are most welcome to reach us in the comment section.
Engr. Muhammad Masood Riaz
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