Do you have a reputation for being late? Have you ever thought that to be on time could be fun? If not, maybe that’s why you’re always late! Do you know punctuality is a habit? It is as much as being late is a habit too. I was habitually late until I realized that punctuality is part of gracious living and then I discovered it’s actually fun to get there early! There’s just too much stress in being late but you already know that. The good news is, tardiness is an easy habit to fix! Here are 4 ways not to be late.
1. The Victoria Secret Technique
Have you ever had a super bra? Victoria Secret has an amazing one. It literally takes all the fat from under your arms, and I think some of it from your back and pulls the excess fat into its cups! Voila, whatever cup-size you are, they get overloaded and you’ve got cleavage! What does this have to do with being punctual? Well, time is like fat. We all have it and we can manipulate it to our advantage.
Here’s how it works. Say you make a dental appointment for 3:00; put it on your calendar for 2:00 (be sure to write what it’s for). By the time the appointment rolls around, of course you’ll have forgotten your “Victoria Secret” and you’ll get to the appointment at the average time you run late (you do have an average) so say around 2:14.
The Victoria Secret Technique has just given you several gifts, including 46 minutes. First, you get the exhilaration of being early! If you’re always late you just don’t know what it feels like to be early! Second, in order to follow through with this gift from the secret, you need to have a BUT bag (BUT stands for Back Up Tasks). So, in that 46 minutes, you’ll have time to take care of tasks you’ve put in the bag to do while you wait. Your cup over-floweth with time!
Punctuality is showing high esteem for other people and their time.
The Victoria Secret Technique will help you fix your relationship with time and improve your relationships with those you’ve caused to wait for you. After all, punctuality is showing high esteem for other people and their time.
Contents of my BUT Bag
1.Small note pad and pen for writing down brilliant ideas Nelly (my inner child) or I come up with
2. Needle and thread (white, black and beige), scissors and items to mend or hand stitch as they present themselves
3. Thank You Notes/envelopes/stamps
4. Inspirational book
5. Manicure kit
6. Dental floss
7. Magnifying mirror and tweezers
8.Cell phone (has addresses in it)
9. Back up projects
2. The Cheap Ugly Watch Trick
Today you can buy watches for under $5! And some of them are pretty ugly. Get the biggest, ugliest, brightest one you can find. You’ve got to feel self-conscious and embarrassed about wearing it in public. You’ll tell friends, “I’m getting help with my dilatory nature and my coach advised me to wear a cheap, ugly watch until I’m punctual. I don’t have to wear it if I’m on time, but if I’m late, I have to wear it for twenty-four hours as a punishment and as a reminder.” Who knows, your friend might say, “Where’d you get it, I need one.”
3. The Time Bomb
Set the alarm on your smart phone, when you know you could get distracted and lose track of time. We SHEs are very social creatures. We love people and time can get away from us in situations we’re enjoying. In my long journey as a SHE, a timer is one of the tools I can’t do without. I’ve taken my Flylady timer out in public several times and it acts just like a time bomb. It goes off in my purse proclaiming the end of my fun. Usually the person I’m with is shocked right along with me. It’s the perfect time to say, “Oops, gotta go!”
4. Pick Up Your Prize Ploy
Imagination is a powerful tool! With it you can pretend the meeting, appointment, person etc. holds your winning lottery check and if you’re late you lose it and the money goes to (name someone you would least like to give anything to). It could be a political figure or just a nasty neighbor. Conjure it up and get your inner drama queen in motion.
Punctuality really is a part of gracious living. Stop being late and experience the joy of being on time.
P.S. There really can be JOY in being disorganized. Just like above you can turn a challenge into a game. My latest book The JOY of Being Disorganized teaches you many ways of stopping disorganization from being bad.