Anyone who has stayed in a hotel is familiar with the “wake-up” call that can be requested in case you can not figure out or do not trust the alarm clock in the room. This extra alarm makes sure that the out-of-town meeting or event planned for the next day is not missed or entered late. Being on-time to meetings and other appointments should be an all-the-time practice. For those who want to be on-time every time, get a personal alarm. To put the personal alarm into practice whenever and wherever, consider many of the alternatives below, find one that fits, and learn to use it. For those always on the move or out-of-the-office, choose to use a phone or personal watch alarm. If mostly in the office, when needing to leave for appointments, consider using the computer or getting a clock or timer to keep on the desk.
Phones work well for alarms because almost every adult carries a cell phone now. Most cell phones come with an appointment or alarm feature. It’s just a matter of finding it in the many menu options or checking the user guide. For those with a smart phone, if the built-in alarm that may come with the phone does not meet the alarm preferences, then check on-line for iPhone or Droid apps to find something that better suits personal needs. Look for an alarm that can be set based on a calendar date and time as well as setting a daily alarm, if desired for wake-up call.
Watches are not as “in” as they once were, but many still love the ease-of-use, fashion statement, or status symbol that this piece of jewelry may provide. Watches primarily tell the current time, but they may also show the date or tell the time in other locales as well. If the watch is digital then it may have an alarm feature that can be set. Read the instructions that come with the watch or ask the jeweler where it was bought. Most watch alarms only have a single time setting, which becomes a daily alarm if it is not turned off or reset to another time.
Computers typically have access to an email tool and within most email tools is a calendar tool for tracking appointments. The better calendar tools also include an alarm or reminder feature that can be set for appointments. Check out the “help” feature to find out how to create an appointment and set an alarm reminder that will go off 10 minutes or more before the scheduled appointment.
Desk accessories may not be high-tech like the previous options, but it is OK to go low-tech if it works. Consider placing a digital alarm clock, a small travel-clock, or a simple kitchen-timer on the desk. Then use it to set and reset alarms for arriving on-time to meetings or leaving for other appointments. A timer or alarm can also be used to limit the amount of time spent working individually on a particular project or to track group time spent on meeting agenda items as well. Using a timer as a simple alarm is one way to indicate when it is time to move to something new.
Highly mobile people do better with a phone or watch alarm; however in-office types may find their computer, desk clock, or a simple timer just as effective. Consider work style and review the alarm alternatives to find a fit and learn to use it well. An alarm as a standard time management practice aids being on-time to meetings and appointments. This practice can show reliability and indicate concern for others as people are no longer kept waiting for someone who is late.