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The secret of punctuality is planning
Published on Thursday, 20 Oct 2011
Illustration: Bay Leung

Getting to work on time is more important than most people think. Despite popular belief, your boss is aware of what time you arrive in the morning and leave for the day. If you're running out of excuses for being late, then adopt the following for a stress-free start to the day. 

Plan your work-day in advance Organise your belongings and prepare your meal the night before. Choose your outfit ahead of time, making sure it's clean and ironed. 

Get out of bed on time If you're a deep sleeper then set two alarms, or put the clock on the other side of the room so that you're forced to get up. Hit the snooze button only once, jump out of bed and hit the ground running. 

Leave your house early A lead time of 10-20 minutes should do it. This will give you time to perform all of those little tasks that just `pop up'. It will also give you some leeway, in the event that something unusual happens. 

Limit distractions Save work-related e-mails and calls for the office, and avoid multi-tasking. You're likely to forget things if you try to do too much in the morning.  

Establish a stable routine In doing so, you'll know what to expect on a daily basis and will arrive at work at the same time every day. This should ensure that there are few surprises, and that you remember all of the things you need to. Your consistency will not go unnoticed.

Matthew Hill, managing director, Ambition Hong Kong