You know that day. Your eyes gradually, lazily open to the morning sun, stretching your arms out to the sides of your bed you relish in that delightful feeling of sleeping in on the weekend … HOLY CRAP IT’S TUESDAY!
You fly out of bed and the rest of your day is in shambles.
The other day I was almost late for work. Almost. I’m never late for work, I don’t know what happened. I woke up super early and somehow got distracted in my morning and got out the door later than usual.
I seriously thought I was going to have a panic attack the whole 20-minute drive to work. I went from sleeping woman to Danica Patrick in 15 minutes.
Normally, I try to get to work about 10-15 minutes early so I can get my world organized before people start to filter through the door. Most of the time, I won’t see a soul for a few hours in the morning and my worry was for not.
You know that day…
Any of you that have worked in customer service know that the *one* time you’re not ready in the morning, there’s someone standing at the entrance at 10 ‘til whatever opening time is that day. You know that day. You scramble up to the door, lunch bag, laptop case, purse slung over one shoulder. Flip flops on your feel and work shoes in the bag in your right hand, draped messily over the coffee mug in your hand. Your other free hand holding your keys and cell phone. You look a mess, and madam early bird is checking her watch.
We’ve all had these days. I hate these days. In fact, I loathe these days because there is no catching up. Ladies, these are the days you finally walk in the door, drop everything down, get settled into work and don’t realize until 6pm that you forgot to put your mascara on this morning. You’d planned to do that on the way.
Make the Madness Stop!
Let’s all resolve to not have these days. It’s hard enough when you’re trying to build a name for yourself in your industry. The last thing you need is to develop a reputation of being unreliable. Showing up 10-15 minutes early conveys the message you want. You’re prepared, reliable, and take the extra time to prepare for any task.
Whether people intend to or not, they associate an early-bird or on-time person as respectful and organized. This is one of the easiest ways to build your personal brand. Here are a few of the tips I follow to help me get to work early and with consistency.
- Plan to arrive 15 minutes early and always allot time for traffic.
- Get to bed on time.
Most of us need 6-8 hours of sleep. Test it out, set your alarm. Try going to bed at the same time for two weeks, see how your body feels. If you’re sluggish, you may need more or less.
- Think about your morning as you go to bed.
This has been extremely helpful for me.
I wake up at 4:30am to teach a Friday morning class, and I’m not a morning person, by any means, and I’m always early to class. Before I get into bed at night, I set out my clothes for the next day and think about anything that could stop me from getting out the door. I put my keys in the same spot, my shoes by my keys. Then, I set my alarm for 4:30am and visualize myself getting out of bed, getting dressed, and walking out the door. Visualization is an extremely beneficial technique for everything in your life – give it a try at bedtime!
- Use a traffic app.
I personally use Waze. I’ve also liked Google Maps and Sigalert (especially in LA). If you’re in a high-traffic area, being late because of traffic is no excuse. Be the one person who gets to work on time when traffic is bumper-to-bumper. When you wake up, pull up your traffic app and check to see what’s up. If you’re worried, check more than once.
Hopefully you find these helpful! If you have any ideas not mentioned here, I’d love to hear them! Put them in the comments below for all of us to check out and best of luck tomorrow morning!