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A Matter of Time
Photo: Sarah Holmlund
Are you always running late? If so you’re in good company, according to a study by Proudfoot Consulting. They report that American CEOs are late to eight out of every 10 meetings, resulting in $90 billion in lost productivity.

While the effects of being late may not be so dramatic for you, learning to be on time is a habit worth cultivating. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to break the cycle of chronic lateness, you may find the following tips from SUCCESS.com helpful:

1. Plan to be a few minutes early. Murphy’s Law tells us that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. So if you always plan to be 15 minutes early, you can run behind schedule and still be on time.

2. Be realistic when estimating how much time certain tasks will take. Travel time is only one factor. Make sure to calculate everything from getting ready to parking and walking to the actual destination.

3. Stay organized. The less time you spend looking for car keys or other missing items, the better your chances are for being on time. Keep your wallet, purse, etc. in one location so when the time comes, you can simply grab everything and go.

4. Block off a period of the day for time-consuming tasks. When planning your daily schedule, carve out a chunk of time for things like returning phone calls and responding to e-mail so you don’t get caught up in these tasks close to other appointments.

5. Stay ahead of deadlines. When you know something needs to be done, start immediately. Don’t tell yourself that you perform better under pressure. Procrastinating until the last moment only elevates your stress levels.

When you are consistently on time you don’t have to apologize or feel flustered. People will trust and respect you more. Those bonuses make the effort worthwhile.

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By Brenda Forbes Dickerson. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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