Getting to Work on Time


Late again! And you even got up earlier. But you would have gotten to work on time if it hadn't been for that accident on the freeway. If getting up earlier doesn't help, what will?


Getting to the Root of Tardiness

For most people, chronic tardiness indicates a lack of organization. Get organized by following one simple rule: Prepare!

If kids are taking too much of your time in the morning - prepare. Get lunches ready the night before. Set their alarm earlier. Whenever possible, make it convenient for kids to prepare their own breakfast. Place their school books and any necessary garments, such as a raincoat and galoshes, near the door the night before. Take care of notes or releases for a field trip well in advance of the time they have to leave.

Prepare for the days when a child will be at home due to illness by prearranging with a friend, neighbor or other trusted adult to check in on the child throughout the day. Trying to find someone as you're about to go to work will make you late. If a conflict among your children arises that requires extended negotiation, arrange a future time to sit down and discuss it calmly. The morning rush may only deepen a crisis.

Preparing Yourself

If you don't have kids or other dependents but still don't seem to have enough time in the morning, prepare your next day's wardrobe and pack your lunch the night before. If you normally jog or shower in the morning, try switching your exercise and shower to the night before.

And of course, if these suggestions still don't give you enough time in the morning, you're not getting up early enough. Try getting up only 15 minutes earlier each morning until you find you can get to work on time without rushing.

Highway accidents, especially during rush hour in the morning, are commonplace, so count on traffic to hold you up. Don't be fooled by freeflowing traffic one day that gets you to work "too early."

Go to bed earlier the night before work days. Don't let your need to be at work on time rob you of your sleep. Restful sleep is an important component of your health, not to mention your ability to work productively.

Try not to overdo it on weekends and weeknights. If you have an active social life, plan events so that you can still get the rest you need. Let your friends or family know that you need to rise earlier in the morning and stick to your commitment.

With planning and preparation you won't fall into the trap of habitual tardiness. Think how much better you'll feel getting to work on time every day!

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