Avoid Being Late For Meetings By Scheduling Your Time Backwards

Avoid Being Late For Meetings By Scheduling Your Time Backwards

It’s OK to be late every once in a while, but when it regularly impacts you and others around you, it’s time to fix it. When you know you have to be somewhere at a certain time, count backwards from that point and plan your schedule as honestly as possible.

Photo by Loren Javier

When you’re late, it’s sometimes because you didn’t realise how much time it actually takes you do things, or because you didn’t factor your own habits in. Laura at the blog I’m an Organising Junkie suggests you plan your time leading up to a meeting backwards instead of forwards:

…here’s the kicker, you have to be honest about how much time each activity is going to take you, not the time you “hope” it will take. For instance if you hope to have your hair and makeup done in 30 minutes but history shows that it inevitably always takes 60, then it is best to factor in the extra time. Here’s an example:

9:00 am meeting, 8:40 am leave house as it takes 5 minutes to get there, 8:30 am gather purse and other necessary items, 8:25 am brush teeth, 8:00 am breakfast, 7:30 am hair and makeup, 7:00 am shower and dress, 6:45 am wake up

By working your way backwards, you’re guaranteed to give yourself an ample amount of time if you can cover everything. Of course, it’s extremely important that you’re honest with yourself. Forgetting to include one thing can throw it all off, and you need to include every single thing you do. If you know that you sit in bed and check your phone for 20 minutes after you wake up, include it. Chronic lateness can take its toll on your life, so it’s important you find a way to fix it. It never hurts to include a little bonus time just to be sure.

5 Simple Strategies for Being on Time [I’m an Organising Junkie]


  • Next tip: overcoming consecutive meetings (yes, I know, the cool people say ‘back to back’, I guess the following meeting runs in reverse), as though one can instantly go from one floor, or one building to another. Got to allow travel time, and getting organised buffers. When I do get organised, I get all my day’s meetings papers in a folder and cart it around with me. And keep the print out of the day’s commitments on the front.
    But to work this, one has to keep the schedule top of mind, or its too easy to slip.

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