I am always the early bird, the one who shows up before everyone else. I love being on time, and it is a habit I have tried to cultivate since I was a little girl. I am the kind of girl that if you tell me that a meeting is for 12pm, I will be there by 11.45am (except when I go for some ‘special’ Nigerian events, and I know that if they say the event starts at 1pm, it definitely means that it will start at 2.30pm).
I think there is nothing more embarrassing than showing up at work late. If it hardly happens, you could be forgiven, but when it becomes a pattern, it shows disorganization and unprofessionalism. And if it becomes a habit, then it could just get you fired!
So if you are a late comer, you need to change because losing your job in this economy would be a disaster.
Luckily for you, this early bird is here with some tips that will ensure that you never have to do the late comer ‘walk of shame’ anymore.
- It All Starts With The Weekend
I know how tempting it is to spend your entire weekend watching Lord Of The Rings while you lie on your bed with a bowl of extra sugary popcorn by your side. But if you want to have an organized week, you have to make sure you plan your weekends well.
Go grocery shopping and prep your meals for the week (it will save you time and money).
Pick out all your outfits for the week and arrange them accordingly in your wardrobe so you don’t have to waste time picking an outfit during the week.
Also make sure that you have all your toiletries (soap, tissue paper, body lotion etc.) so that you don’t have to waste time borrowing from your flat mate/sister/mother/aunt during the week.
Make sure that your room/home is organized and everything is in place. If it takes you more than two seconds to find both pairs of the same shoe or more than three seconds to find your underwear bag, then you need to organize more.
If you use public transportation to work, this is the time to make sure that you have enough change (especially N100 and N50); You don’t want to be the one who shows up at the bus stop on Monday morning with a N1,000 note.
If you drive, make sure you fill your tank with enough fuel that can last you the week. Also, wash your car properly and check your car (tyre, lights, water, oil etc.).
- Wakey! Wakey!
I think it is wise to set two alarms on two separate devices if you can, just to be safe. I have had situations where I have set one alarm, and for some unknown reason, it just didn’t ring!
If you live on the mainland and you work on the Island, you should wake up by at least 4.30 am. This will give you enough time to prepare breakfast (if you eat in the morning), shower, dress up, makeup (if you can, skip this step and do it when you get to work) and organize your room before you leave. If you live close to where you work, you can afford to wake up a bit later, but no matter what, I believe that everyone should be up by at least 6am.
Before you leave home, check your bag and make sure you are not forgetting anything (makeup bag, umbrella & shower cap (in this rainy season), keys, documents, food, cheque books, cash, laptop, phone, medication, Atm cards etc.) These things may seem small, but having to go back home because you forgot your phone on your bedside table could be the difference between getting to work at 7am and getting to work and 9am.
- On the Road
If you are driving, make sure you take a route that is tested and trusted; when you are going to work is not the best time to start experimenting with routes you are not sure of. If there is traffic on the road, and you want to take an alternative route, think about it well before taking it.
If you are using public transport, try to make sure that you go to work with the same person everyday (for me, I have someone I ride with to VI every morning, and it saves me the trouble of entering different cars every day). If you cannot find someone, please observe the buses or cars well before you enter them. If you see a weak tyre or you hear any funny noise, please don’t enter the bus or car. You do not want to enter a bus or car that will stop on Third Mainland Bridge!
- Early To Bed, Early To Rise
So, you have gotten through Monday successfully. You arrived work at 7am. All your colleagues couldn’t hide their disbelief! Even your boss was shocked! You were so happy, you were walking on clouds throughout the day. Now you just got back from work and you are about to jump into bed and sleep.
I am sorry to break it to you, but you still have some planning to do if you want to make being early a habit.
If you use public transport, make sure that you have enough change for the next day. If you drive, make sure that your car is clean and everything is working fine. Look at the outfit you picked out for Tuesday. Make sure it is properly ironed, and if you need to make any changes, do it.
When you are done with all this, take a shower – it will help you sleep better. Then you can sleep, and make sure you sleep early.
Like the famous saying goes, ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man/woman healthy, wealthy and wise.”
I hope you enjoyed my ‘how to stop being a late comer’ tips. If you have any more tips to suggest, or if you have any thoughts or comments, please leave them in the comments section.
PS – If you have any friend, colleague or family member who is a perpetual late comer, please share this article with them. They will thank you for it, sometime in the nearby future. Lol
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