Managing Self Monday Morning Practice

Monday Morning Practice – Running late – again?

Written by Allison Wolf

The Monday Morning Practice this week was inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s blog post of January 29 this year: 9 Tips for  Overcoming Chronic Lateness. If you find yourself chronically late then the practice this week is to put one of Gretchen’s or my tips into action.

I used to be chronically late until I took myself in hand and made some small behaviour shifts in order to get it – mostly – under control. So this week, in addition to the excellent suggestions Gretchen makes in her post here are two of my own:

  • If you are late because you inevitably find yourself on the phone with a client just when you need to be heading out to a meeting or taking a scheduled client call try this: Either don’t answer, or don’t initiate any client calls 15 minutes before your next scheduled appointment or your departure time, or, be very clear with the client that you have to end the call at a designated time and will call them back. Test out setting some boundaries with yourself or with others around how you use your time before a scheduled meeting. A people pleasing modus operandi could be the culprit behind your perpetual lateness – and it is letting you down. Please one person by staying on the phone just means you are forcing someone else to wait.
  • If you are in internal meetings that always go long – if you are the organizer, tell everyone the meeting will be starting and ending on time and control the agenda to keep the discussion moving along.  Keep an eye on the clock and warn people at the ten minute to close mark. Then at five minutes to the end of the meeting  being the wrap-up. If you are an attendee at an internal meeting let the person chairing the meeting know that you have to leave at the scheduled end time and let those know sitting on either side of you. Then, at the designated end time, quietly head out of the room.

What decisions and actions are you taking that are triggering your chronic lateness? Which one do you want to tackle first? Which tip are you going to try out this week?


About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.

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