Nigerians across the globe are generally known to keep “African/ Nigerian time” especially in social events/gatherings. In the West, this is known as CPT- colored people time, as this often pertains to several other ethnic cultures. I’m guilty of keeping Nigerian time sometimes; intentionally and unintentionally. However, I often wonder, for Nigerians in the Diaspora, does the concept of “African/Nigerian time” apply in the workplace? Some will say emphatically “NO” because time is money, especially if you have to clock in for work and unless you’re the boss. If you’re always punctual to work, GREAT! If you do struggle with punctuality at work, possibly due to ingrained Nigerian/African time mentality (I’m guilty of this too sometimes. Shame! Shame! Shame!), perhaps these few tips could help:
- TRICK YOUR MIND: Trick your mind. Set the clocks in your house/apartment at least 30-45 minutes ahead of actual time. That way, if you’re running late based on the time on your clock, you’ll actually be on time. The funny thing is, initially you will know you’re ticking yourself, but as life continues, your mind actually begins to believe that is the real time. It only takes one or two “rush-rush” moments of trying to make it work on time for you to actually go with the time on the clock.
- DON’T BE TARDY: If you don’t believe in tricking your mind by resetting the clocks at home, be late in style and with class. No more than 10-15 minutes after the set time that you should be at work. If you have to be majorly late, by all means inform someone in management.
- STAY ON TOP THINGS: Assuming you haven’t been fired or warned about punctuality, if punctuality is something you struggle work, make sure you double and triple your efforts in all other areas of your work: neatness/cleanliness, making deadlines on time, maximum productivity. You can have so many areas of work count against you.
- GO THE EXTRA MILE: If running late to work is a habitual thing for you, I suggest going the extra mile for other co-workers or others that are affected by your lateness. Be willing to cover lunch shifts or stay a bit late. Bring goodies often to work if you can, anything to offset your lateness.
But above all, just try to show up to work on time, and save African/Nigerian time for parties and weddings.
If you struggle with punctuality in the workplace, feel free to share some tips that have worked for you in the past.
Author Bio: Chineze Enwonwu is a dentist living in United States, with an interest in blogging.