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Four unconventional ways to be punctual

Aisyah Lyana
Aisyah Lyana

Published: 23 March 2016, 11:33 AM

It's never too late to start being early.

Tired of catching your breath after rushing to board the last possible bus to beat the clock?

Back in school, my infamous 15-times-late record prevented me from rightfully receiving three accolades, including my school’s prestigious Service with Honour value award. If you too are a repeat latecomer, maybe it is time to put an end to your tardiness and stop making people wait for you. Here are four tips to be more punctual:

1. Adjust your phone clock ahead of time

On a school trip to Indonesia, I forgot to adjust my phone clock to Indonesia’s local time (UTC +7), which is one hour later than Singapore time (UTC +8). Hence, when we were supposed to get down for breakfast at 7am Indonesia time, I was half an hour early (though I came down half an hour late according to my phone time). My friends were impressed that I was early for once.

But of course, I adjusted my phone clock after the incident and held up the group for the rest of the trip with my idiosyncrasies.

Getting your friend to adjust your phone clock ahead of the actual time could be a good idea to improve your sense of urgency. Even if you end up being late according to your phone clock, you have a higher chance of arriving on the dot.

 

THIS IS HATAKE KAKASHI, THE PROMINENT LATECOMER IN NARUTO, COOKING UP EXCUSES AS PER USUAL. PHOTO CREDIT: DEVIANTART

 

2. Work with timers

If you identify yourself as one who idles, it is good to control how you use your time using timers. Most smartphones today should have a pre-installed timer. Set a specific duration to accomplish a certain task, say to eat or shower, and start the countdown. Once the phone rings, it is a signal to drop everything and move on to the next task at that instant.

Working with timers pressures you to complete a task more efficiently and heightens your sense of urgency. Since latecomers usually take their own sweet time, timers help to rush them a little.

3. Review your time sinkholes

Sometimes, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we take only 15 minutes to shower, or 30 minutes to do our make-up. In actual truth, there are many miscellaneous things we do in between our daily routines, such as thinking about what to wear and finding our wallets and other essentials.

For a week, try timing yourself to roughly gauge how much time you need to get ready. From there, work backwards so that you can get ready in time.

 

BEING OBSESSED WITH A FANCY WATERFALL BRAID UPDO CAN BE THE CAUSE OF YOUR TARDINESS. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTIBRAID

4. Spamming alarms

 

If you are bad at waking up at your first alarm, you might want to consider spamming alarms so that even if you put your alarm on snooze, your subsequent alarms will keep interrupting your dreams.
Alarms can serve as reminders too. For instance, you can set an alarm two hours before the time you have to reach your destination to remind you that you have to start getting ready. Then, set an alarm one hour beforehand to urge you to leave the house in case you get carried away.

However, there is a limit to this solution as you could get overwhelmed with confusing and overlapping alarms. I have a friend who has an alarm every five minutes of the day, and forgets what her alarms are for. Since she was too used to her alarms ringing, she is still always late.

Having to explain your tardiness and apologising for inconveniencing people can be a tiresome routine. That being said, there will be some circumstances that you are genuinely late, but of course such cases should be kept to a minimum.

Disclaimer: This advice is collated from repeat latecomers, so don’t blame us if these tips do not work for you!


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