You know that friend everyone seems to have? She’s the one who’s constantly running late and making you wait at the restaurant or miss the beginning of the movie.
I am not that friend.
I’m the one who waits (im)patiently at the venue (usually early and alone), waiting for the rest of the crew to show up. It’s the same deal when I’m rushing out the door to get to work on time (ahem, early). I can’t stand to be late, but that has come at a cost.
There are hidden costs to being on time or early – if you are disorganized.
Calling a cab to bypass the long route the bus takes, or buying lunch or coffee because you forgot to pack your snacks – all these “little” expenses add up. There has been a time in the past year where my cab fares have added up to the value of my monthly bus pass. Ahhhh!! Not good!
Here are 5 tips to keep you organized so you can rush out the door to your heart’s content!
1. Wake up at the same time every day.
Yup, this tip is so simple, but it works like a charm! If you have a variable schedule because you’re funemployed, taking classes, or work part-time, it can be super tempting to sleep past your alarm on days when you don’t technically have to get up early. Do it anyway. It helps you get a head start on your day (maybe even eat breakfast).
2. Go grocery shopping.
Do it! Stop by the store on the way home from work or class and grab enough for a couple meals to tide you over for the next few days. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be the daunting task it was for your mom who had an entire family to shop for. This makes it way easier to prep food for the week since you’ll actually have something to make.
3. Make food. Take it with you.
Brown bagging your lunch is no longer the lame-o thing your high school crew would judge you for. Bring your lunch in a mason jar (or two). If you’re like me and dislike carrying lots of tupperware (just so bulky!), pack what you can in Ziploc bags or cling wrap. Easy! You can even make it a fun activity with your roomie.
4. Minimize decision-making
US President Barack Obama, Britain’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell, and Apple’s late visionary Steve Jobs: what do they all have in common? They’ve made very few decisions about the personal, small things such as what they eat and what they wear. It’s the same outfit all day ‘erry day for Cowell and Jobs, and Obama has a chef who prepares his favourite meals. Done.
When there are fewer options, it’s easier to choose. Wear a uniform to work? Great! Make sure it’s clean and you’re halfway out the door. Premade your meals on Sunday? Awesome! Grab “Tuesday” from the fridge and go.
5. Prioritize and plan
Know when and where you need to be and plan ahead. Put a reminder in your phone or note in your agenda so that you can plan ahead. Set your morning alarm 10 minutes early. Know the weather for the week. Stash emergency snacks in your desk (cue those mason jars). Ask your crew to push back this week’s hangouts by half an hour… and can it be a potluck at Farrah’s apartment this time instead of another expensive restaurant since payday isn’t until next Thursday? Kthanxawesome!
Mo’ money in the bank just takes a little extra planning ahead. Needless to say, my cab tab days are over. What are your time-tested tips?
Monique Elliot: Resident Reporter + Chief Editor