Want to know how to avoid being late for work? Then you’re in the right place. Is it even possible to be on time for work every day? I think it has a whole lot to do with your mind. Let’s dig into that today.
Any time I think about being on time, I’m reminded of a group that I was running. This was teenagers. So I had a bunch of youth. They were referred through the juvenile court together with their parents to participate in a program that was intended to keep them out of a more secure placement. That’s the context.
As we were meeting together for this group, Susan was late. Susan shows up. She comes in and a big old rush were already starting with group. And she bursts in through the door. She’s up and she’s breathing heavy enough. “Oh sorry, I’m late you guys.” And she comes in and she sits down. We’ve been going for maybe, I don’t know. 5 or 10 minutes at this point.
Her mom trails in after her. Not breathing is heavy because she didn’t run in from the car. And comes in and quietly sits down next to Susan. Well Susan wanted to apply for a level
advancement in the group. To do this she had to meet certain criteria. Certain standards to get the level advancement.
And so, she raises her hand she says, “You guys, I want to advance to level 2.” One of the requirements for advancement to level 2 is that you’re on time to every meeting. It was obvious to the whole group that she wasn’t on time for this meeting.
Luckily, someone in the group called her out on it. It wasn’t even me. Somebody across the group from her said, “Susan, you got to be on time to the meetings. You weren’t on time today.” So, I don’t think we can give you your level 2 advancement.
Well, she almost comes unglued. As she comes back and explains to the group. “It wasn’t my fault, I couldn’t get here on time because my mom had to work late and she was my ride.”
Let’s just pause him back up for a minute so that you get a little more of the context. Susan is in the group because she’s been referred by the juvenile court. Why was she referred by the court? Because she was found one state away joyriding without a license with some kids that her mom didn’t even know. She’s in the next state over. Mom, didn’t give her a ride to the next state over.
Big surprise, right? What is she asking us to believe? That she can’t get to group on time because her mom had to work late. Really? Mom let her know with plenty of advance notice that she was going to have to work late.
Susan lives about 5 blocks from the office where we’re holding the group. Do you think that her resourcefulness could get her to group on time?
The reason I share this story with you is because we keep our commitments or we make up a story about it. I know that’s going to sound a little harsh. But connect with that for a moment.
Either you’re going to keep your commitments or you’re going to make up a story about it like Susan did. It’s simply historic. Could she be there on time? Yes she could. What would it take? It would take a little effort on her part. A little pre-planning. That’s going to give us some insight into what we can do to be on time for work every day.
So, let’s apply what we’re learning.
How To Avoid Being Late For Work:
What if you were to take some time to really think about your commitments before you make them? If you’re accepting a job, you’re making a commitment. What is your commitment? And does it have anything to do with being there on time every day? I know. It depends on your job. And some are different than others.
Think about that commitment before you make it. If you’re not really willing to be on time to a job every day, why would you make that commitment in the first place? Oh, because I need the money. Yeah, right. I’ve heard that one a lot. Needing the money means that you need an upgrade in your life. Means that you probably need to make some commitments
So, you make this commitment to take the job. Take your commitment seriously. Because either you’re going to keep your commitment or are you going to make up a story about that. Some stories are true, some stories are very compelling. I’m not arguing that. I’m just saying it’s a story.
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Because if you didn’t keep your commitment, now you feel like you have to explain why you didn’t keep your commitment and that is a story. Even if it’s a true story, it’s still a story.
So, you might ask yourself beforehand what could I do to keep my commitment? What would it take? When you take the time to think, then you can actually start to plan for the incidentals. I mean, the stuff that could come up, right?
Let’s say that you’ve got an appointment. Also known as a commitment, right? Why would you make an appointment if you didn’t have a commitment to keep that appointment? You’ve got an appointment. It’s across town at 3 o’clock. It normally takes and as I emphasized normally because there’s no unforeseen things happening in a normal situation.
It normally takes you 15 minutes to travel from your office to that appointment across town. Or from your home to that commitment that you made on the other side of town. 15 minutes. Think that through for a minute. What is that 15 minutes include? This it include walking from the room you’re in right now out to your vehicle. Or to the bus stop or to the train station.
Does it include that time? Does it include the time getting off the train and walking into the office? Does it include the time parking your car and moving your body from the car to the place where you’ve made the commitment?
I’m being painfully detailed about this because we don’t always think about those things. “Yeah, it’ll take me 15 minutes to get there.” What do you mean?
Now, plan for the incidentals. What if there’s a lot of traffic? Well, that’s going to slow you down, right? What if you have to stop and make a run and errand on the way? Okay, that’s fine. Plan for it. And then you plan backwards and work toward it.
People are late for work not because they can’t make it on time. It’s because they fail to plan to make it on time. I’m talking pretty directly with you because I think you can handle this. If you’re having a hard time being late, people will start to doubt your commitment. And that’s not who you are is it? Plan for the incidentals. Now, let’s tie this into who you really are and what your ultimate commitment is.
If you have a job and you’re going to work every day and you’re on time every day, what are you showing up for? Here’s the last tip that I want to give you. Create more value than you consume. Make that commitment somewhere in your heart and mind to always create more value than you consume.
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Honestly, when I hire people, that’s the first thing on my job description. When I’m looking for someone to fill a position, it’s actually written in. Create more value than you consume. That’s the only way it makes economic sense for me. Otherwise, you are consuming more value than you produce.
You’ve heard the term “You suck”? No, that’s what it means. Because you suck resources. You’re consuming more than you produce. If you show up late for work, you are consuming that company’s resources.
To produce more than you consume means that you make that commitment in your heart and mind and it shows up everywhere. Including showing up on time.
Let’s keep our commitments. Would you commit to do that?