How do I become a person who shows up to work on time?
January 24, 2013 6:23 AM Subscribe
I've worked professionally for over 15 years, and in all the that time, I've never been on time to work consistently. How do I show up to work around 9 o'clock like a normal person?
posted by anonymous to work & money (62 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
It's the kind of foible I can get away with because I've got skills that are in demand. If I were just a regular guy I'd have had to work it out by now or I'd be completely unemployable. At this point, I definitely feel like it's holding me back from advancing. I haven't heard much about it from managers at my current job, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were held against me in private. I'd like some help figuring out some strategies I can use to change this behavior.
Most days I show up to work a little before 10:00, which is lucky because I have a standing meeting at 10:00. Probably once a week I'm a little late for that. It's pretty much always been like this, across different years and seasons and different jobs, and different methods
However, it's been worse before. At a job I had roughly five to ten years ago, I would sometimes get stuck in a spirals of anxiety in the morning before leaving for work. I'd start to be late, and then start feeling anxious about that, and then start to do something to distract me from the worry and anxiety about showing up late to work, such as watching TV, reading the Internet, eating breakfast, etc. That meant I'd sometimes be hours late. I haven't had that kind of problem in years, though.
If there's an early meeting or appointment or something I can make it for that, assuming I remember it, of course. It's not like I can't make a 7:00 am flight or go to the dentist before work in the morning. It's just that on a given, regular, boring day, I have trouble arousing any urgency about going to work.
I don't stay up too late. My morning process of dressing and grooming is reasonably streamlined. The alarm goes off at 7:00 or 7:30, which is plenty of time, but I'm liable to decide, "I can be late today it's fine", and then it just becomes a habit that I sleep in or, read a
book, or listen to the news on the radio, or just waste time some other way. And it's really the case that on that day it's fine coming in late. It's only a problem that I do it every day.
The advice in some other threads is to set more alarms, like an alarm for when to leave the house and an alarm for going to bed at night, and I've done stuff like that before. That doesn't seem to help me because it doesn't seem to be a problem of knowing when I need to leave so much as it's a problem being motivated to want to be early.
What do you guys think? Thanks for your help.