Fingers tapping on the steering wheel, nervously changing radio channels, checking the dashboard clock every two seconds and hoping for an empty road; I’ve been there too many times. Stressed, anxious and constantly cursing myself, I am late. Again. What am I going to say this time? Well, there is some traffic, it’s slow moving. But I said that yesterday.
I really need to start waking up earlier.
That’s how I spent most mornings on my way to work, until I realized that I could be on time if I put a few things in place [TADA]. The following minor efforts really changed everything for me and let’s hope they have you coming on time everywhere, every single day:
The overriding rule if you struggle with time
Don’t be optimistic; be realistic about how long transition takes – transport, packing, moving, parking. Research suggests that many of us have trouble predicting how long we take to conduct activities longer than 10 minutes. Maybe this app will help track how long activities really take.
We’re talking about ‘I’ll have a 2 minute shower and snooze an extra 10 minutes.’ Be mindful of the time you have to get to a place and don’t be optimistic that you’ll float across the traffic and be met with free roads [If you’re in Dubai, we know that’s a slim chance].
1. Put multiple alarms on your phone:
Not just to wake up. I have at least 5 alarms on my phone – one to wake me up, one to push me to get out of bed, one to make sure I’ve actually really gotten up and one to urge me to wrap up getting ready and one to make me leave the house. This way I’m constantly making sure I’m not just waking up on time but I’m actually on schedule.
2. Make decisions at night:
Out of the times I’ve been late, 80% was because I couldn’t decide what to wear and I kept changing my outfit. Now, I keep my outfit ready the previous night and a couple of options ironed out and ready as well; in case I change my mind, I have the option of changing without wasting time ironing clothes. This easily saves a crucial 10-15 minutes in the morning.
3. Keep your on-the-go belongings in one place:
I know I’ve experienced this on an almost daily basis; I spend half my time in the morning looking for things. I can’t find my phone charger, my watch, my shoes, my hairbrush, and my keys! I’ve started keeping all my things in a specific spot so every morning I don’t waste time looking for things to stuff my handbag with. Being a girl, I have a lot of unnecessary crap I carry, but even men need to find their sunglasses, keys, perfume, etc. Make sure to keep whatever you need all in one place.
4. Fill up your fuel tank the previous night:
I don’t know how many times I’ve used the excuse that I was late to work because I was filling fuel in the morning, but I actually didn’t and somehow reached work on an empty tank. Late evenings are a good time to fill up your fuel tank as bunks aren’t that crowded. Early morning is the worst time to pay a visit to the petrol station; you are bound to be late. Stock up and be prepared.
5. Check the maps every morning & know the public transport schedule:
If you’re planning to drive, it’s best to check google maps and decide what route you should take. Google maps show you all the possible routes to your destination and show the intensity of traffic you will experience on the way. There’s a mobile application called WAZE that tells you where accidents have occurred and also lets you interact with other users to inquire about live road situations [and you’d be wise to have it handy].
If you commute by the metro or public bus, it’s best to know the public transport timings and schedule for at least 10 minutes early. Keep your alarms according to the time you have to get on the metro or bus.
6. Always, always, always leave 15 minutes early:
Keep an eye on the clock and make sure you leave earlier than you usually do. Wake up early and account for all of those things you do that eat up those extra 15 minutes in the morning.
Sometimes, you just can’t get out of bed and you keep thinking of excuses to come up with for bunking. Eventually you fight yourself and make it out of bed. Save yourself the trouble of having to come up with new excuses every day for being late and make some of these.. simple changes to your routine.