“I have always been a quarter of an hour before my time and it has made a man out of me.” -Horatio Nelson
Have you ever missed a flight? I have. The stress is enough to send one’s nerves into orbit.
Is missing a flight the end of the world? Not really. But it’s not exactly great either, is it.
I now covet the extra time of arriving three hours early at the airport these days, international flights that is! It makes travel practically stress-free and I can focus on getting loads accomplished.
The thing is, we’re doing ourselves a great disservice by racing around at the last minute …whether we’re trying to catch a flight, get to work or arrive to our next appointment.
Last minute frenzies hijack our calm and focus from the present.
Operating down to the wire leaves little time for mental preparedness and spikes our mental and physical stress levels.
This all wastes valuable time and energy, pulling our attention away from what’s important.
A margin of time
If you don’t already, aim to give yourself an adequate margin of time in front of all your commitments. As a general rule of thumb, take a page from Admiral Horatio Nelson’s book and aim to be early by a good quarter of an hour. Adjust the time margin according to the activity.
Don’t aim for ‘on time’, aim for ‘early’.
Often people feel they’re wasting time arriving somewhere with time to kill. Reframe the benefits:
- Peace of mind in case of delays.
- Time to mentally prepare.
- Time to read or catch up on emails while you wait.
You’ll feel more confident, focused and present for your engagements and whatever else the day may throw at you, instead of reeling from a chaotic whirlwind.
How could you benefit from being a few minutes earlier?
Make the effort, avoid the last minute frenzy.
You’ll thank yourself.