While taking my mentor’s words to heart, and trying to find out what I could work on with myself rather than focus on others, I started with my biggest flaw: being late. I recognize and appreciate that some people start with the little things and once they have conquered those, they move to the big things. Unfortunately, my biggest problem was impacting all the small ones so I had to work backwards.
“Being late shows that you have no respect for the other person’s time.”
How many times have you heard this? I’ve heard it over and over again. In both my personal and professional life. Basically, my reviews would state that when I was there I was great… I just needed to GET there. Friends would operate on “Katie Time” rather than planned time—and this would usually be about 30 minutes past arranged meeting time. It was bad because in my ideal world time wouldn’t be a factor but in the real world, it certainly is.
The initial struggle that I faced with focusing on my punctuality was that by recognizing it was a problem, I was recognizing how horrible it was. It wasn’t cute or just “how I was”, but rather it was a huge inconvenience to those that I admired most and chose to spend my time with. Recognizing that an inherent trait is also self-centered was a hard pill to swallow. I didn’t really disrespect the people I was meeting with. I definitely never wanted to show disrespect to my boss and coworkers. But my actions were speaking so, so much louder than the verbal excuses I was creating.
Eventually I worked little tricks into my life. Turning my clock back never worked for me, but some other things did. I realized I was more punctual when a meeting wasn’t on top of the hour. Why? I have no idea, but everyone is different and what works for everyone will be different. I also realized that keeping a calendar was imperative to punctuality for me. It took time, patience, and changing some routines but I truly believe that once I accepted that my habit was bad and needed to be changed, I was willing to do it.
No one can start to change a bad habit if they don’t fully embrace it and own it. I owned how rude I was coming off, I owned how it was impacting those around me. And I changed. Now it’s a rare day that I’m not minutes EARLY to an activity.
If you also struggle with punctuality or general disorganization, whether through a struggle to find a way to make a work life balance or creating a way to be more intentional with your time, we at Bauman Consulting Group, LLC would love to chat with you and help you move forward. Please reach out, we have all been there. Some of us just more on time than others!