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For some people, running late on a consistent basis is just embedded into their DNA. I know several people who, if given the chance, would be 10 to 15 minutes late for their own funeral services. Despite their best efforts, they just cannot, or blatantly refuse to show up to scheduled appointments, social events, and even work on time.

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Aside from the lack of respect shown to any waiting parties, running late can cause serious implications in the workplace such as dismissals of lawsuits, failures to close on business deals, and also missing other business opportunities.

So how can one who is always late for work, play dates, social engagements and the like make a concerted effort to be on time?

1) Change Your Mindset – I know of people who purposefully show up late just because they assume everyone will show up late as well. This mindset, though sometimes warranted, has to change in order to set the desired result of timeliness into play. Commit to the idea of showing up to scheduled appointments EARLY and put that commitment into play to make a change.

2) Plan ahead – Now that the public has apps and websites dedicated to traveling within any particular city, whether it be via public transportation such as subways or buses, or via private cars on the streets, make it a point to select your desired route well before leaving the house to ascertain just how long it will take to get to where you need to be. Undesirable circumstances such as traffic, construction, or President Obama deciding to motorcade through your city can really affect your timeliness. Do yourself a favor and think way ahead before heading out the door.

3) Change Your Location – If being late is always an issue for you when scheduling meetings outside of the office, seek to meet at a location close to you. This will especially come in handy if you just so happen to forget about a meeting and only have to make a mad dash across the street to the local coffee house.

4) Don’t Overbook – Being overzealous with appointments and scheduling meetings can definitely backfire on you despite your best efforts. You may mean well in agreeing to 3 work related meetings, PTA meeting, and an Usher Board meeting at church, all on that same Tuesday, but this overbooking can and will cause you to run late for ALL of them. Be cognizant of your daily rituals and routines and commit to meetings that you know your calendar can handle.

5) Be Respectful – Leaving people waiting on you is just plain rude. Do not be that person who is always told a start time earlier than it actually is because your colleagues and friends know you will show up late. Time is limited, so do everyone a favor by not wasting it.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( . She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 10 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.


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