Punctuality and Productivity

Hey everyone! I am currently a senior undergraduate student, but have had trouble over the years with punctuality and time management. Right now, I am not in the best mental or physical space where I can thrive in my work and studies with consistent punctuality and productivity.

I am completely new to this forum, academia, and professionalism in the workforce. Any advice on how to improve time management would be greatly appreciated! Especially in the cases of hard times/financial & housing insecurity.

My goal is to attain this sort of discipline as a student and as a future employee.

Thank you!

OP, first, I send my all the warmth, support, food, and hope that I can wrap up in a blanket and give to get you through this. I've been there and please do not underestimate the amount of work you're doing. Yes, I'm sure you feel it in your bones, your gut, and wherever else stress lands. Some of this gets better when your cognitive load lessens. You can make it to places on time when your car works well, you know where you're sleeping consistently (and thus have a sense of regular traffic patterns) and you're not working several jobs at once. If your environment supports thriving, it's easier to excel. Other systems you can use:Set your clock 8, 13, or whatever odd minutes earlier it needs set. The trick is for it to not be easy to calculate. Add 20-30 minutes to your time to prepare - I call this living in chaos time. When you're used to living in an unsustainable heat, you budget for only ever getting that amount of time. Double your estimates of effort to get breathing room. If you think it takes 20 minutes to get somewhere, leave like it takes 40 minutes. If you think an assignment will take an hour, give yourself at least 2, if not 5.You can only get so many things done in a day. If figuring out transportation, food, or a place to sleep is on there, then that's most of your list. Recognize what you've been through, assure yourself it will get better (it will!), and focus on one big thing at a time. Maybe it's it showing up on time. That's your big thing for a month. If you master it, great, you can add another thing, but be honest with yourself on how you're maintaining things as you add. Give yourself the grace to go back and reaffirm a skill. Do 2-4 things and then maintain just that for a month before continuing to add.Monitor your body's response to demands. If you're used to living in fight-or-flight situations, sometimes other asks will trigger it as well, such as unreasonable deadlines.Find a mentor. You will need other people to help pulse check what is reasonable.Trauma can masquerade as ADHD. If you find time vanishing and have no idea where it went, that's a decent check. Consider therapy (online can sometimes make it easier), journaling, meditation (if your university has a class on meditation, that's ideal, or try a group rather than an app), and having a few solid friends you can call and laugh with. Don't underestimate the power of genuine laughter.
@bridgetcogley Hi Bridget, thank you so much for your kind words. It is definitely difficult to make sure I finish tasks by the deadlines when I am unable to ensure my basic needs like my physical health, food, and financial security but I am dedicated to start prioritizing that especially now that I have more time in the summer. Also, reminding myself to give myself grace with what I am able to focus on and the time that I have for those responsibilities. And to focus on one thing at a time until I can finish it so I can start or at least be prepared for the next task.I really like the living on chaos time idea! I've tried alarm clocks, but it usually isn't enough time to prepare for the day or complete a task at a slower and more comfortable pace. Allotting double the amount of time would lower the stress/anxiety that slows me down. I'll give it a try this summer! Multitasking has been a big coping mechanism of mine for a while now due to trauma. Kind of like survival instincts - like I need to do all that I can at one time to not waste any of my time. Or, so that I can say that I am putting my all into every aspect of my life but it can be a lot on one's plate.I'll start listening to my body and fostering supportive friendships and relationships for this journey. Thank you again, your advice means a lot! I hope you have a lovely day! 😊
Hey, this is a great effort to commit to, congrats!Two thoughts on the matter: 1. Clarify how you feel about punctuality and the lack of it; your thinking dictates emotions, which dictate motivation to adjust (or not) behaviors related to it. Example: if: if you believe punctuality is a mark of outdated business rigor, your motivation will be very different from one where you think punctuality is a sign of respect for other people. In other words, fix your mind first :). 2. Find strategies to deal with potential lateness in those areas of your life where punctuality matters - such as job interviews (I have a tolerance of 3' for lateness in these cases, for instance) etc. Example: if you are regularly late for online meetings because you simply do not keep track of the time, set up an alarm 10' before and open links 5' before...Cheers and be inspired to find your own ways!
@CristinaM Opening links 5min before so that everything's up and ready is such a smart idea. Thanks for your advice and kind words!
Multiply the time you think you need to get ready or complete a task by THREE. Most people way underestimate how much time is needed to do something.
@abbiesolis You're right thats something I realized. I tested doubling my time today and its helped a ton, I'll try by three and see how it goes! Thanks! :)
If you aren't already using Google calendar, or some sort of calendar, start using one. It removes the burden of having to remember to do things. You just have to remember to consult your calendar at the start of the day/throughout the day and give yourself an overview of what's coming up daily/weekly/monthly. Maybe also think about it this way- how shitty it feels when you make plans to meet with someone and they show up late or not at all. None of us wants to be that person.
@Sharice194 Thanks for replying, your last point really hit me. Its not the best feeling on the other side of that end.I started using Google Calendar this year and it has helped a ton with remembering events. I've heard that sometimes having multiple calendars helps but I haven't tried it out yet.
I came here to say I love how coachable you are here and how you are implementing systems to improve your life. Things might be looking gloomy right now but there's a light at the end of the tunnel and with your current attitude, I know you'll be okay :) Excited to see what's next for you, keep us posted along the journey!
@iynna Thank you so much!! This means a lot, it's been tough but I think I can make it. I'm glad I found this forum, its so supportive :)
I have a time management trick. If I have to be somewhere at 2 pm, I figure out the time I have to leave to be there on time, including travel time, parking, getting up the elevator, etc. I set an alarm on my phone or Alexa for that time, not for 2 pm. If you gain a reputation for being prompt, people notice and appreciate it.
Hi, Huge kudos for reaching out for support with this - this is a really great step forward and many people don't reach out for advice and help, so well done.If you find that typical time management and punctuality hacks don't seem to work, I would suggest looking into ADHD. I am not saying that this could be your case, but these are two typical symptoms of ADHD, especially if you've experienced them over many years. ADHD also generally affects mental and physical space, and productivity and motivation in general.Feel free to message me directly if you have any questions around this - happy to help :)