6 Reasons to Stop Arriving Early

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It seems absurd. It goes against your mother’s advice. If you want to get ahead you’ve got to get in early. I mean, what about the early bird catching the worm?

But who really wants a worm?

Like many pearls of traditional advice, this one requires further examination. And as a person who hates to be kept waiting, hates showing up too early and is pro-fashionable lateness, I have made observations over the years that has solidified my premise that it is better to be on time or err on the side of lateness than to be always early.

 Here are 6 reasons why:

1. You are telling people that your time isn’t valuable.

Think about it. If you are chronically early and waiting—waiting on your blackberry for your boss, waiting at the restaurant for a lunch date, waiting on your friend’s couch while she rushes to finish getting ready—then what are people eventually going to think? Miss Early Bird must not have jack crap going on in her life. Meanwhile, that person is busy so they are automatically going to deduce that their time is more valuable than yours—since you have so dang much that you’ve made a hobby of cooling your heels.

 

2. It isn’t productive.  

My friends know how much I loathe wasting time. And if you ask why then you are subjecting yourself to my impassioned soapbox speech about how time is truly the only non-renewable resource, how we could die at any moment and that every time you waste a minute a terrorist gets its wings.

And why is that? Because I am trying to balance all the busy-work life throws at me (laundry, dishes, oil change) with the real productive work I’d rather be doing, such as writing and building my e-book business. So, I NEED to be productive, and you probably do too if you are reading this blog.

Therefore, in order to be at your peak productivity, you need to stop showing up 15 minutes early to everything because if you’re doing it chronically, then you are literally wasting hours and hours a week.

Think of all you can do with that time.

3. You set yourself up to ALWAYS be waiting.   

Most of us schedule our lives with a very small buffer in between tasks, and by small I’m talking about a 5 minute window. Between work meetings, emails and those lasts minute phone calls (not to mention the traffic around that fender bender on 12th street), we are lucky to get anywhere on time. Therefore, people need that 5 minute buffer. In writing this blog I went back through my text messages from times when I was meeting up with my group of girlfriends. What did I find? A lot of Running behind! Be there in ten. Traffic is awful. Start without me! Followed by responses like: No worries. The hostess hasn’t even seated us.

Everyone is running late. The world is running late.

Need proof? Think of your doctor’s office, dentist’s, optometrist’s, canine spiritual consultant’s. What do they all have? Waiting Rooms! Think about what you do at restaurants, Starbucks, subway stations. You wait! Don’t voluntarily exacerbate the problem.

People, all people, from your boss to your bartender, are rushing to catch up. You can’t change their circumstance. You can’t change traffic. You can’t change them. You can only change yourself.

4. It kills your energy.  

I’m sure it’s happened to everyone. For whatever reason, you arrive at a party, sporting event, or movie premiere way too early. You’re really jazzed about the evening that lays before you. Momentum is building. When is everyone going to show? What time is it now? And now? That’s when the climax begins to rise and whatever you’re waiting on gets pushed to pedestal heights.

When the big moment finally comes and it’s kickoff time, you are elated. About *%$# time! You think. However what inadvertently happens next? All that energy can’t be sustained and it starts to dissipate. Consequently, by halftime, you are tired. By third quarter, you are ready to call it a day. The event becomes anti-climatic and it zaps your energy.

5. Your colleagues won’t like you. 

Nobody likes a boss’ pet. Think about how you are portraying yourself when you are incessantly early. You’ve unwittingly made it into a competition. A competition you make damn sure you’re going to win. You’re like that kid on the playground that calls for a race and then before anyone can blink shouts “Go!” to get a head start. No one wants to play with that kid. And your colleagues are the ones you spend over 40 hours a week with (not to mention happy hours and Christmas parties), so you need to get along with these people.

6. It bothers your friends.

So, if your friend shows up to lunch on time and finds out you’ve been sipping soda for 15 minutes, it makes him feel rushed, guilty and probably a bit irritated.

People hate showing up on time and already feeling late. ESPECIALLY in social situations that are supposed to be light and enjoyable.

Really, being chronically early is a passive aggressive form of rudeness. How? If you keep purposely showing up early over and over again the other person begins to feel like you are trying to lead by example and send them a message: Hurry your rear up and get here sooner. Your friends do not want to be herded.

And now an argument from the other side.

Yeah but being early is better than being late all the time.

Is it?

Maybe. But not in my experience. Especially when you keep it within a 5 minute window and apply a little common sense. Being on time/5 minutes “late” (And even 5 minutes early. There, I said it.) to coffee is fine. You can wait, your friend will wait, however your bus driver will not.

It’s also a good rule of thumb that in anything work related, your best bet is to be right on time. However, I can guaran-dang-tee you that in most instances, the big boss will cruise in late.

And to be 100% honest, I am a person who has always, always, always shown up places a little late (excluding the common sense exceptions mentioned above), and I cannot think of a single time in my life that I have had the experience of, Oh no, I really regret not showing up on the dot. Ever. But I can think of many times I’ve been left waiting in the cold for someone/something with nothing to warm myself except the growing fire of my fury.

Therefore, I believe we can all benefit from erring on the side of fashionable lateness.

After all, it’s like the saying goes: Haters gonna hate. Waiters gonna wait.

 

 

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Why Going to the Gym can be a BIG FAT Waste of Time

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It used to be our routine. The moment my husband walked through our door I’d begin rushing around, trying to get him up to speed on the feeding/napping status  of our baby girl so he could watch her while I went to the gym.

One day I was especially flustered and frustrated with my diminishing window of time. The litany of tasks that stood between me and my workout stacked like barriers in my head. Milk for the baby, shoes, gym bag, membership card, water bottle, car keys. Drive to gym, park, walk in, scan card, get on treadmill…

Suddenly I stopped in my tracks. “Why am I going to the gym?” I asked my husband. Perhaps he, who is a professional athlete and expert exerciser, could think of some reason I needed to be there. Oh they’ve got great equipment. There’s this certain machine that works out this one hard to reach muscle that if stimulated will make you lose a million pounds.

Instead he looked at me and said, “Drop and give me 20.”

I did. Mostly to prove that I could. But I got his point.

My toning and weight loss did not begin as soon as I got to the gym. It began as soon as I started working.

In other words, the faster I got to the free weights the sooner I began to reach my goals.

This brings me to my point. Most of us are wasting massive amounts of time by getting tied up with the process of going to the gym.

Just look at all the negative factors that we have to hurdle just to begin our workout:

-start driving

-get gas

-fight traffic

-find a parking place

-wait to use machinery

-cost

Until we finally reach the positive factors:

+do bench press

+kettle bell swings

etc.

And then we have to go back up the list to get home.

According to studies by Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, willpower is like a muscle, the more you use it, the more it gets tired. Kelly McGonigal Ph.D., author of The Willpower Instinct writes that, “Many things you wouldn’t typically think of as requiring willpower also rely on—and exhaust—this limited well of strength.” McGonigal goes on to explain that anything one does that requires self-control can deplete willpower. This includes sitting through a long meeting or having a stressful commute.

In other words if we make our workouts, which should be enjoyable and stress-relieving, into a tedious obstacle course of minutia, then it doesn’t make it very easy to comply for the long term. This could lead to skipped sessions here and there on some of our busier days which eventually lead to quitting.

So why not just “drop and give me 20” and do our workouts at home?

There are plenty of excuses.

They have these machines I like.

 Yeah, well most of them either don’t really work or are unnecessary. The same muscles can be worked with free weights or through calisthenics. I prefer a combination of the two along with kettle bell swings.

Well there’s this Zumba class…

Buy a video!

Yeah, but treadmills are expensive.

 Seriously? Get outside! I’ve run in Phoenix 115° and Toronto 2°. It’s never too hot or too cold to run/walk outdoors (Medical issues aside. Consult your physician). Why on God’s green earth are you paying $50 bucks a month to use a treadmill? And if you insist that you really need one, then you can lease it from Leaseville.com for only $52 a month, and your compliance rate will be much higher. treadmill

Look, I’m sure you can think of many good reasons to go to the gym, however you need to stop and be brutally honest with yourself. How many times did you complete your work out this week? Last week? The week prior? If it’s any less than 3 then you are probably not going get the noticeable results you want.

In fact, according to a 2010 poll by the American Psychological Association, only 15% of adults were successful at beginning a regular fitness program. APA article

The truth is, gym memberships can become just another way for people to try and buy their goals instead of earn them. That’s why we have 30 different diet books collecting dust on our shelves, and yet we’re still carrying that extra tire. It’s the reason we see more LuLu’s than Levi’s. It’s the reason Victoria Secret launched a new workout line. Is it because we are getting fitter as a nation? Nope. It’s just more fun to buy than to earn.

Now, I understand that some people are more advanced in their fitness (like my husband). Some are collegiate or professional athletes who need access to a lot of different, expensive equipment, but these are the exceptions.

I’m going to assume that most of you are like me: an average person who’s not here to win any competitions. I’m just a mom who wanted to shed those last five pounds of baby weight and obtain my ideal body.

And the general population is the same. The vast majority of us have simple goals when it comes to our physique. Be healthy, lose a few, get rid of pain, sprout some abs and a set of pythons.

Guess what. You do not need an army of equipment to achieve this! In fact this pursuit can be a huge waste of time. It’s the equivalent of braving IKEA because you need a napkin ring.

Look, if you are serious about reaching your goals then you need to be honest about how you spend (or waste) your time. Are you taking an hour getting to and from your workout? Then you may find the number of days per week you hit the weights dropping until you look at yourself in the mirror and realize it’s been a month since you’ve laced up your Nike’s.

To prevent this you need to evaluate your workout and come up with a plan on how you’re going to get down to business sooner. If your regimen consists of a 30 minute jog followed by abs, then replace that with a run around the neighborhood and finish up on a yoga mat in the living room.

Are you more into taking classes followed by some serious arm toning? Download some classes to do at home or even in the office. Youtube has a great selection (fo free!). You can also find some good prices on free weights at Walmart or online. I prefer the adjustable dumbbells since they are compact and being a hockey wife, I move houses A LOT. You can find the ones I use here or for heavier sets, search on Amazon.

My go-to strategy is to do kettlebell swings while my baby is sleeping. video of proper form

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there are zero benefits to hitting the gym. I understand there are social aspects people enjoy. Maybe it’s a good way to get out of the house. However you need to be honest about your progress. And the truth is, you may be forking over that membership every month for the wrong reasons, and your waist line is paying the price.

Working out in the bedroom with Dora the Explorer in the background may not be sexy, but if you’re busy then you’ve got to make do. Will you miss going to Transcendent Jazzercise and showing off your new Lulu’s to Becky Mac-Jawbone? Maybe. But probably not if you get to reach your goals faster and save a boat load. In reality, which is more important?

So now…Drop and give me 20!

If you are interested in checking out my home workout, leave me a comment and I will post it.