Time is money and is of great essence. Most Nigerians are used to the African mentality and tend to be late to almost every event. To school, church, interviews, weddings, meetings, name it, some Nigerians have a way of coming after the scheduled time.
According to Edward Verrall Lucas, people who are late for a non-formal meeting are often so much happier than the people who have to wait for them. Well, not in all cases, not in a Nigerian wedding.
As a matter of fact, lateness depicts unseriousness and tells negatively on the personality of the latecomer. Therefore, it is important that we learn to imbibe positive habits that will help eradicate that African mentality of always being late, a.k.a, ‘African Time.’ – seriously speaking this has to change, a lot of things in our lives can be improved if we took more time to evaluate why they occurred. Here are things you can do to avoid going late to everywhere.
1. Create a To Do List
Not knowing what to do can be as disastrous as not knowing where you are going to. Write down all you need to do and if possible assign a time-frame for each of them so that you don’t end up spending so much time on one thing when there are a lot of others to attend to. From what you would like to achieve daily, weekly, monthly, to what you intend to buy, everything should be written down.
Note: Avoid jamming your schedule with massive to-do lists. Prioritize what is more important on the list and do them first.
2. Get Your Things Ready Before Time
If your usual time of leaving the house for work is 7 am every day. You can arrange your bag the night before. Put everything you need in it, get your clothes ironed and laid out, your shoes polished and your meal prepared. Don’t try to do so much in the morning as you will end up not achieving all and still get to work late.
3. Wear a Wristwatch
Wristwatches were not made only for fashion, but to tell time. Your phone and car clock can tell you what the time is, however, you still need a wristwatch that you should consciously refer to from time to time so as not to lose track of your schedules.
4. Reset Your Timers
To be on the safer side, you can set your wristwatch, the clock at home, car clock, and even your alarm clock some minutes earlier than the real-time, say 30 minutes early. This will help you beat time cos you will always be in a haste only to get to your destination and realize that your time was faster and you made it early.
5. Leave Home Early
This is common sense! If it normally takes you 20 minutes to drive to work, leave the house 30 minutes before work time. The extra 10 minutes will be used to walk to your car, walk out of your car into the office and then some extra time in case of any contingencies.
In case you’re among the people who have trouble getting anywhere or anything done in the morning, slide to bed early and jump out of it as soon as the alarm strikes.
Referencing the picture above, the statistics in Nigeria, especially in metropolitan cities will be double or more. People who live in Lagos, know that they need nothing less than one hour to commute to work on a normal day.
6. Expect Things to go Wrong
For people who transit between the Mainland and Island in Lagos, Nigeria, it is advisable to set aside more time to beat traffic and fuel queues. Keep in mind that anything can go wrong while you’re getting ready or already on your way. Like forgetting to some important documents, not finding transportation on time et cetera.
7. Embrace the Early Syndrome
If you feel being early is a waste of time, try doing these few things for a change:
- bring a book or something to work on while you wait.
- try to be still, meditate and observe the world around you – since that’s the foundation of creativity.
Finally, stay alert at all times, plan ahead and never use traffic or whatever as your excuse for being late.