Monday Motivation: Timing is Everything

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on October 5, 2020

Monday motivation, where are you? It’s already mid-afternoon in NYC, are you late? Did you know that your morning mood affects your productivity all day? Grit Daily is here to get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday motivation!

The punctuality problem

Well, to be fair, maybe today’s column should be about competing priorities but we’ve recently covered that topic. To be fair, and to wholly embrace a mea culpa attitude with full accountability, there’s still a whole lot of day left! Besides, Monday motivation can boost you any day of the week. Okay, let’s get to it.

Punctuality, that’s the Monday motivation theme of the day. We all have that one friend who takes hours to get ready yet is always late. As in, for everything. Yup, the kind of friend that you can easily make jokes about being late for his/her/their own funeral, as distasteful as that may be to poke fun about.

Admittedly, driving around the world’s largest cities poses challenges with respect to timing because you never know how bad traffic is going to be. By design, trains are supposed to run on time but that doesn’t happen with 100% reliability. Today may simply be the day the gods have divined as the day that they’re going to eff with you. Whatever the reason, the odds of you being late in a major metropolitan area are probably higher than if you live in the ‘burbs.

“Five minutes early is on time. On time is late. Five minutes late is unacceptable.” ~Forbes

But that was pre-COVID. Nobody is really driving around on a daily basis anymore. Public transportation is not the crowded-fight-grandma-for-her-seat milieu that it was as recently as six or seven months ago. For the most part, we’re putting on a nice top paired with our yoga or pajama pants, brushing our hair to look quasi-groomed, perhaps dabbing on a bit of concealer and making our way downstairs or to the kitchen to load up a zoom room. So, why are people still late for everything?

Monday motivation tips to improve punctuality

Punctuality (or the lack thereof) is one of those bad habits that people are actually comfortably talking about – and owning up to. With the host of inappropriate behaviors out there, this is probably one of the easiest ones to look beyond, to overcome and to admit that it might be time to work on correcting. Yet, for whatever reason, which defies logic, being late is a chronic, ubiquitous problem.

A 2017 (okay, that’s the most current data that I could find) survey by CareerBuilder found that 30% of Americans show up late for work each day. That’s outrageous! When asked why, those with a punctuality problem cited that traffic was to blame nearly 40% of the time, over-sleeping 32% of the time and bad weather 26% of the time. Anything “chronic” is synonymous for “always,” and represents an essentially permanent state. If you are routinely missing deadlines, unable to complete any work or assignments on time, missing meetings or not even getting through half of what’s on your daily schedule, there’s an issue. Actually, there are likely multiple issues.

Well, we can’t control the weather (let alone the climate change challenge but we’ll leave that there for now), nor can we control how long you sleep, but we can make some Monday motivation suggestions on how to overcome your punctuality problem. Because, it is a problem; not just for you or your employer, but it can also negatively impact your personal relationships. Nobody wants to be that annoying friend who is ALWAYS late: for many people, being late is considered downright rude.

And no, the easy answer is not setting your clock ahead which my hubby does and it drives me mental. That doesn’t work for me: instinctively, I know that he has adjusted the time to x minutes fast so I always do the math and know what the real time was anyway, so what’s the point? That said, I am pretty punctual so this isn’t a behavior that I have to really work at it (but yes, sigh, there are plenty of others!). Instead, let’s try these tips below to improve punctuality:

#1 – set a reminder or alert

You may be one of those people that needs a nudge. Fine. It’s not a crutch. Setting an alert a few hours before you have to begin getting ready or to remind you that it’s almost time to leave is a useful tool. Take advantage of the technology to do this and make it part of your ritual for getting ready.

#2 – plan for tomorrow – today

Before you go to bed, make planning for tomorrow part of your night-time routine. Take a look at what’s on the calendar for you. Do you have to be somewhere? When? How long does it usually take to get there? By mentally mapping out your day, which is an organization tip, you’ll be better prepared to hit the day running from the moment you wake you. You’ll be less stressed and more likely to be on time.

#3 – change your mindset

Surprise! You’re not that special. You don’t command enough attention to warrant making other people feel less about themselves and be forced to wait for you. Once in a while is fine – we all hit that bad traffic jam or weather catastrophe. But you need to really think about the message that your chronic disregard for punctuality is sending to others. Get your head wrapped around how it’s rude to be tardy and that could spark the change in behavior that you need to motivate yourself to do things differently.

Extra bits of Monday motivation

If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, we’ve got those, too! Three of them, in fact: 1) Like a Boss with snappy insights; 2) wine down and chill; and 3) Monday motivation. All three are available on all streaming channels including Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more. Tune in! Finally, if you like my writing, check out my new novel, The Battle for Humanity, it’s a thriller you won’t be able to put down.

podcast with Loralyn Mears

Have a fabulous week!

Photo by Quốc Bảo from Pexels

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Dr. Loralyn Mears is a Columnist at Grit Daily and a podcast host (The Grit Files, which aims to shine the spotlight on female founders). She is a content marketer, founder of the WORKtech startup, STEERus, specializing in personal and professional development to address gaps in soft skills - communication in particular. In her consultancy practice, she helps clients with content and strategy. Loralyn spent over a decade playing with mosquito DNA, got her PhD, decided she would rather market science than be at the bench and has never looked back. Along the way, she’s wined and dined her way around the globe. She's authored two books, including the 2018 Gold Medal Indie Book award-winning, One Sip At a Time: a Memoir and the hard science thriller, "The Battle for Humanity: How Science Saved Us." 

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