The Art of Being Early: Tips for Staying On Time
Being late all the time adds a layer of stress to our life that can take away from our enjoyment of things.
We may plan to eat at our favorite restaurant, see our favorite sports team play, or meet up with friends which could all enhance our life but if we are chronically rushing around last minute and stressed because we are cramming too much into the day, we won’t really be able to enjoy the things we plan to do. This also applies to our daily routines of getting ready, arriving at work on time, and completing tasks before their deadline.
Here are seven simple tips to embrace the art of staying on time so you can live with less stress and more pizzazz in each moment of your day.
Tips for Being on Time
Let’s face it, there are already enough factors in modern life that cause stress that is out of our control such as rent prices, traffic, and getting along with difficult personalities so when you can eliminate one stressor, it can make a big difference in your well being. It’s a new year and a new decade so let’s avoid burnout with these simple tips!
Notice What Distracts You
Are you a chatty Kathy? Do you take seven snack breaks a day? If you’re in the habit of doing things that are distracting you from getting things done, cut back. If you are always socializing but stressing about getting stuff done around the house, you can socialize less and work to create a balance between ‘adulting’ and playing. Finally, notice if your mind drifts when you’re doing things and set time aside to daydream when you’re not working so you can be more productive.
Rethink Your Arrival Time
Instead of trying to show up exactly on time, train your brain to think that 10 minutes before is the latest you need to be there.
This will allow you to work around procrastination, so you can show up to your business meeting calm, cool, and collected, and you can stop apologizing for being late. This will reduce the amount of tension between you and whoever is waiting for you and it allows you to think about how to best approach whatever it is you’re about to do. Being early is a really small life hack that will be a game-changer for your mood and allow you to do things with a more clear head. Your nerves will be less taxed and people will enjoy your company.
Start Using a Calendar
Whether it’s a calendar on a wall, a reminder on your phone, or a day planner you carry with you, a calendar can help take the stress off of your mind when trying to remember what you need to do and when. Simple things like paying your annual registration, getting taxes filed early, getting an oil change, or sending a birthday card can all be on the calendar so you can glance at it and take care of it beforehand.
This really does take a lot of stress off and allow you to know when your schedule is full so you don’t overbook yourself.
Don’t Overload Your Schedule
People often forget to allow time for the unexpected, for relaxing, for eating, and for traffic. Make it a point to not rush into your day and give yourself a relaxing start so you can carry that energy with you. Don’t pack your schedule so tight just because you feel like you need to be busy or because you feel obligated to say yes to everything.
Embrace the power of the word ‘no’ and your stress will drop exponentially.
Spend Less Time on Social Media
Social media makes it hard to focus because we are gathering little tidbits of information that shorten our attention span. It is also easy to lose track of time when we pick up our phone and start scrolling. Give yourself a goal to check social media once or twice daily but limit those episodes to five minutes or less. Putting a cap on social media time will help you recover a significant amount of your day. It might also be worth it to avoid looking at your phone for an hour before you go to bed and after you wake up.
This can also be said for gaming and watching TV as well. Notice how much time you spend vegging out and cut it in half to start so you can use that time to take care of things or yourself.
Read this next: Wakey Wakey! Life Hacks to Become a Morning Person
Give Yourself Kind Deadlines
Sometimes we need to look at the big picture of how the attitude of our culture affects us and our enjoyment of life. There are no doubt people in our culture push themselves to achieve more and try to do it all at a young age. If we rush to reach ‘success’ we aren’t going to enjoy the journey and being high strung along the way may actually block us from opportunities that would come if we were always smiling.
Avoid making yourself feel like you have to do everything in such a short period of time and give yourself a healthy balance between productivity and just allowing yourself to observe and enjoy life. This balance will also improve your creative insight which means you may see easier ways of doing things.
Use Affirmations and Intentions to Help Change Habits
To Create a New Habit One of the best ways to create a new habit is by affirming that this is a normal part of your life. Use a simple affirmation such as, “I never rush,” or, “I enjoy being early.” Saying this first thing in the morning, in between tasks during the day, or writing it twenty times a day can help you actually start thinking this way. Do this for a month and you’ll start to just accept it as true.
Even if you’re known as the person that is always late, you can change that part of your behavior. Even if other people don’t expect you to be able to be early because it’s ‘just not you,’ don’t treat this as a permanent pattern.
Taking the edge off means you’re better prepared to handle and respond to life and being on time is a great way to empower yourself this year.
Related Article: How To Take The First Steps Towards Healthier Habits