Filipinos have a habit of mixing humor to the term “Filipino Time” which is described as naturally being late regardless of how properly set the schedule is for a meeting, event or activity.
Even government agencies are becoming concerned about how tardy Filipinos can become. The delay can range anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes or longer.
There are, however, remedies to avoid the bad habit of “Filipino Time”. Practicing these better habits will make you more professional and disciplined.
1. Accept the flaw.
The first step to changing the bad habit is to admit that you are a constantly tardy person.
Tell yourself that you’re missing out on opportunities and losing the trust of people around you because you always come late and do not take time seriously. Next, tell yourself that you wish to change the bad habit and will strive to come on time from now on.
2. Set the alarm earlier.
If you have a meeting at 9 am, consider various factors such as the total time you spend getting dressed, eating breakfast and traveling.
Also, be prepared for fortuitous events like thunderstorms and floods. Never underestimate the time you spend on preparation activities. It is better to be early than late. Ideally, you should wake up 2 to 3 hours before the deadline.
3. Avoid overburdening yourself.
Do not accept invitations that do not suit your schedule.
Keep a calendar or logbook where you can write down all your meetings and scheduled activities for the week or month. Do not make unrealistic goals and give yourself extra time between activities. It’s recommended that you stay composed for every meeting or date, and not huffing about during the event because you’re trying to catch your breath.
4. Don’t take time for granted.
Avoid wasting your time doing unnecessary things. If you should spend time on social media sites or watching TV, time it properly by setting an alarm.
Keep in mind that you only have 24 hours in a day and you spend about a quarter of it sleeping. If you have trouble spending more time than needed on different tasks, practice timing yourself in each activity until you establish the habit.
5. Be optimistic.
Think of the rewards and benefits that you can have by being on time. You will look very professional in meetings or job interviews.
Also think about the bad experiences you had when you were constantly late. Compare the feeling of being prepared several hours in advance compared to cramming because you didn’t time and schedule your activities properly. These should inspire you to do better and show up on time.
6. Spend ample time on people.
Meeting people spontaneously is one of the reasons why Filipinos tend to be late. They spend too much time talking and doing things that weren’t intended in the first place.
If you happen to meet an old friend on the street, talk for 3 to 5 minutes then immediately let him know that you’re supposed to be somewhere. Schedule for an appointment or get together on another date. Don’t feel bad about having to tell someone you need to go or are in a hurry. List it down on your logbook as always.
These healthy practices will eliminate “Filipino Time” in just a few weeks. You will discover new privileges and will be respected by colleagues and friends for being on time.