When you try to keep an awful lot of information in your head, occasionally the information about appointments and meetings will disappear from your grey matter. You might be able to slide a bit in your personal life if this is happening, but in the business world, it can be the kiss of death. If you don’t show up to an appointment (or if you’re running late for a meeting), you might not get a second chance with the person who was left waiting there for you.
Avoid Running Late for a Meeting with These 4 Steps:
(even if you have chronic lateness!)
Capture, Confirm, Block Time and Re-Confirm
Capture the meeting details.
What day will the meeting take place? What’s the begin time and end time? Where will it be held? What are you responsible for bringing? If that information isn’t readily available, who will be responsible for giving it to you at least one week before the meeting is supposed to take place? If the meeting is out of town, you’ll need at least four weeks’ notice, so you can plan for travel, farm out your duties, etc.
Send a confirmation.
Whether you do this immediately or when you’re closing out at the end of the day, send the other party either a calendar invite and/or an email confirmation. If the other party beats you to it and sends you the confirmation, great! No matter who extends the first communication, make sure that all meeting details are included so that there’s no confusion later on, including who is calling whom for a phone conference.
Block off commute time.
One step that folks often leave off their calendars is commute time and centering time. Figure out how much time it will take you to pack up your stuff, go to the restroom, make the commute to the meeting, take some deep breaths to center yourself, and review your notes. Add in possible delay time. Now plug this into your calendar. This will remind your brain to get you out the door in a reasonable amount of time.
Block off prep time.
If you have to show up to a meeting without any information or deliverable, you kind of have to wonder why the heck you’re there. So chances are, you need to bring something or know something or be prepared for something when you walk into a meeting. How much time will you need to prepare? When will you prepare for this? Schedule this on your calendar.
Re-confirm the meeting.
Send an email the week before the scheduled meeting to reconfirm all of the details. If it’s an out of town meeting, send this confirmation at least two weeks before. If the other party has forgotten or needs to back out, you’ll have plenty of time to schedule another client or meeting in that time slot.
Your chronic lateness will come to a screeching halt! That is the mindset to maintain and the thinking to implement in order to avoid running late for a meeting – or worse, completely missing one!