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How to Break the White Rabbit Habit

Sorry my train was delayed.

Sorry I had to take an important call.

Damn and blast – I didn’t get that done when I said I would…again!’

Are you always singing ‘I’m late I’m late for a very important date’ or rushing around using much stronger language?

Are you someone who has a reputation for lateness…for keeping people waiting?

I have a question for you:  are you the White Rabbit?

While being late, can be annoying to friends and family, in business it sends a very clear message that your time is more important than another person, you do not think the meeting is that important, and you do not think the person you are meeting are that important.

Imagine if being late was the first impression you gave to a potential client.  Imagine how important your team member thinks their review is when you saunter in ten minutes late.

Someone once said to me, that...


Telling someone you are going to be late (before the start time of a meeting) is a reason.  Telling them after the start time, is an excuse.

It is the same with deadlines.

Are you a “Last-minute-Lou”? -  someone who needs that last-minute adrenaline rush to spur you to deliver your best work. I know I am, and it is great when you have one, maybe two competing deadlines.


But when you have several…Miss one deadline…even a self-imposed one, and you can forgive yourself.  When you start making a habit of it your customers will not forgive you, even if you can forgive yourself.


Sometimes we impose unreasonable deadlines on ourselves because we do not start with the end in mind and work backwards.

If you have an aim for the end of the month and work backwards to understand what you need to have achieved each week, by the time you get to week one, day one you will quickly realise that you’d have to work 24/7 to get everything done.

Yes of course give yourself challenging targets but do not set yourself up to fail by being totally unrealistic.

If you are in ‘the white rabbit habit’ here are a few tips;

  1. Plan your day in 90 minute chunks with 15-20 minute breaks in between to keep you fresh
  2. Set an alarm or use an egg timer to help you maintain your discipline with the above
  3. Practise closing down phone calls and ending meetings on time, and group calls and meetings together as often as possible
  4. Allow more time than you think it will take, particularly when travelling. Plan to get there early and take work with you if time is precious
  5. If you have a morning meeting away from home, stay over at a  friends house or a b&b ( if you win the contract it will have paid for itself)
  6. Wear a watch for instant access for the times when your mobile is not easily visible
  7. Set yourself challenging but realistic deadlines. Do not over-promise and under-deliver to customers.

Do one thing: even if you have had the ‘White Rabbit Habit’ for a long time, commit today to creating new habits that respect other people…and keep your blood pressure down!

Marianne Page

Marianne Page

Senior ManagementInspirer, Motivator, Simplifier, Creator, High performing Team Builder…and Hugger


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