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How to never be late for a meeting again

A busy Liverpool Street Station in London at rush hour

We’ve all had to send that dreaded message before. You know, the “Sorry, I’m running a few minutes late for our meeting” message. After all, life is busy and there are always some things that are out of our control.

However, if you want to take some control back and show your colleagues, clients and suppliers that you really mean business, then making an effort to ensure you turn up on time could really make a difference.

Here are a few simple tips that might help you make the best use of your time and never be late again…

  1. Time your everyday routine

The majority of us have a typical daily routine that consists of getting out of bed, having a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast, feeding the dog and potentially getting other family members ready too.

If you estimate how long this routine generally takes each day, then you can plan around it, knowing a worst-case scenario time period for you to be able to leave the house.

  1. Plan your travel to a tee

You may have your daily commute sorted, but when it comes to planning for a meeting out of town, it’s best to plan your travel arrangements as far in advance as possible.

Driving might seem like a good idea initially, but factor in rush hour traffic, petrol costs and finding a parking space nearby your meeting, and it soon becomes a much more stressful and less flexible option.

Train travel is a great option when it comes to travelling to meetings and providing the venue is not too obscure, there is bound to be a train station nearby. Check out the train timetable for your destination, see if you are valid for a railcard and book as far as you can in advance to get the best rates and seats. If your clients/suppliers/partners are happy to meet at a time nearer the middle of the day, then you can also cut out most of the rush hour commotion and also benefit from off-peak fares too.

  1. Build in a buffer

However you plan to get to your meeting, it’s best to always build in a healthy buffer to allow for any mishaps and delays you may encounter.

Work backwards from your meeting time, factor in the time for your everyday morning routine and your travel journey (including walking/connection times) and then add in about a 20-30-minute cushion. Hopefully you won’t need it, but you will only look keen and professional by turning up early as a worst-case scenario.

  1. Prepare the night before

Although you have factored in time for your everyday routine, there may be things you can do the night before to make you even more prepared.

Check out the weather forecast, plan your outfit and lay out your clothes for the day. Pack your work bag, ensure your phone and laptop are charged and write down the name of the people you will be meeting and the exact venue address in your notebook or on your phone.

You could even prepare your breakfast and/or your lunch and leave it in the fridge overnight, so you don’t have to mess around with it in the morning.

Although these are all small and obvious things, they will all add up to ensure that you arrive at your meeting in good time, feeling cool, calm and collected.

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