What it Really Means to Be On Time to Work

Plan to miss traffic so you can be on time to work

You know the importance of being to work on time. But, what does it mean to be on time?

What time are you expected to be at work each morning? Are you on time every day?  My assumption is that most people arrive on time every day. Those who are perpetually late probably don’t last long.

What is your pattern? Do you stroll into the office at 8 or a few minutes after and feel you’re on time. Or, do you get in early and get things accomplished?

Even if you usually arrive before 8 each morning but are a couple of minutes late one day a week, you may be perceived as being late all the time. Unfortunately, perception becomes reality. Remember that what others think of you will have an impact on your career.

If you start at 8 a.m. (like me), you choose to arrive at the office by then. You set your alarm for a certain time, leave early enough so traffic will not impede your commute and you arrive on time.

If you really want to be on time, you will be ready to work at 8 a.m., not getting to work at 8 a.m. Walking in the building at 8 a.m. does not constitute being on time. You should be at your desk with your computer booted and ready to work instead of just walking inside.

If you can, try arriving at least 15 minutes before the start time so you can be ready to go “when the bell rings.” Instead of 8 a.m., I feel like I’m running late if I’m not at the office by 7 a.m.  I like to have at least a half an hour of work done and a project crossed off the list before the day officially starts.

My boss is famous for starting his day by 4:30 each morning. I can’t do that. I’m not conditioned to get up that early (yet). But I definitely see the value in it. He accomplishes so much by being in a quiet office for at least two hours before anyone else arrives.

Thankfully, I work for a great company and have a lot of flexibility in my schedule. I’m given the ability to start and end my day as needed.  Of course, I have certain expectations to meet and I do my best to meet them and work the hours that work best for my clients.

This past Friday morning, I got into the office at 6:10 and was working by 6:15. I left by noon so I could get some personal tasks done before we headed out-of-town for my daughter’s volleyball tournament. I could have arrived by 8 and left at noon but I would have been almost two hours behind where I am because I was willing to arrive early. I do what I need to do.

What do you need to do? What do you want to do? Do you want to go through the motions and just stay employed? Or, do you want to succeed as quickly as possible?

You will likely not succeed if you don’t put in some extra effort. Get a little extra work done each day. Make sure you are perceived as being engaged instead of not caring about your work. To be on time is the easiest thing you can do and doesn’t require extra effort.

photo credit: garryknight via photopin cc

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