Have you ever wondered when you should get ready for an appointment?
Should you start your preparations an hour in advance?
Do you need to put down your work and start getting ready ten minutes before you have to leave?
The better way to plan for your departure is to follow a practical method.
In this post, you’ll find a step-by-step process to help you determine exactly when you should start preparing yourself, and your personal effects, for any appointment.
You’ll use this to method to determine when you should get ready and leave for an appointment.
Rest assured, it isn’t complicated or difficult. But it does have to do with counting backwards!
Ready to start the planning process? Let’s begin!
Identify your appointment time.
At what time does your meeting or appointment begin? Double-check any information you may have received, be it in an email, text message, voice message, postal letter, or note card.
If the appointment time is unclear, or you can’t find a reliable record, make a quick phone call to your appointment contact to confirm the time.
Factor in “settle-in time.”
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’re there, right? Well, not quite. Even though you’ve physically arrived at your destination, there’s probably a few things you need to take care of before your appointment.
For instance, if your appointment is located in a building across town, you may have to find a parking space for your car, enter the building itself, check yourself in at the receptionist’s desk, and so forth.
What do you need to do before settling into your meeting or appointment? Here are a couple of items to keep in mind when you arrive at any destination:
- Go through reception or security
- Purchase tickets or secure passes
- Have a quick bite or drink
- Find a place to sit or stand
- Take a trip to the restroom
Calculate travel time.
After you’ve identified your appointment time and factored in a few minutes to get settled in, you’ll need to determine how long it will take you to travel to your destination.
If you’re going to a previously visited location, you should have a fairly good idea as to how long it will take you to travel from point A to point B.
For example, if you’re visiting an existing client’s office, it might take you 30 minutes by car. If you’re going to your hairdresser’s for a quick trim, the trip might only take you 10 minutes by foot.
What if you’re going to a new location or are unsure about the travel time? You can use a digital tool such as Google Maps to help you estimate travel time.
Another option is to do a dry travel run in advance of your meeting or appointment. This will give you real-time information about how long it will take you to travel from one location to another.
Estimate preparation time.
The next step is to estimate your preparation time. Preparation time is the amount of time it takes you to prepare yourself and your belongings before leaving for a destination.
What do you need to prepare before leaving your current location? Tasks performed at this stage should be directly related to your upcoming trip. You may need to prepare work materials, pack meals and snacks, gather your personal belongings, groom yourself, and so on.
Calculate when you’ll need to get ready.
Once you’ve identified all of the time-related steps above, you’ll want to do some quick calculations.
Don’t worry, this isn’t anything complicated: you’ll just be performing some basic arithmetic. You’re going to subtract chunks of time from your appointment time, one after the other.
Let me know you how easy the process is. Let’s say your appointment starts at 11:00 A.M. You know you need ten minutes to settle in before your appointment.
So, you would just subtract 10 minutes from 11:00 A.M., which would give you 10:50 A.M. That couldn’t be easier, right?
When you finish your arithmetic, you’ll have a fairly good estimate as to when you should get ready for your appointment.
Here’s what a sample calculation might look like:
My appointment time: 11:00 A.M.
Settle-in time before my appointment: 10 minutes (11:00 A.M. – 10 minutes = 10:50 A.M.)
Travel time to my destination: 20 minutes (10:50 A.M. – 20 minutes = 10:30 A.M.)
Preparation time for my appointment: 30 minutes (10:30 A.M. – 30 minutes = 10:00 A.M.)
Given the above calculations, you’d probably want to start getting ready at 10:00 A.M. for your 11:00 A.M. appointment.
How about you? What do you think is the biggest factor to contend with when it comes to being on time for an appointment? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!