I think it was William Shakespeare who said, “Is there no respect of place, persons nor time in you?”
Of course, we all want to think that we are behaving respectfully to others, especially in the workplace and the business world. It just makes sense to try and show your peers, colleagues, and clients that you value them. And one of the easiest ways to show others that you respect them is to be punctual.
There are two categories of people: those who are perpetually late, and those who strive to always be on time. I am one of those people who likes to be on time. Not only do I like being on time, I really like for others to be on time as well, especially when they are supposed to be meeting me. Some may say I am a little over the top about the whole thing; I can get frustrated about the time even if I don’t have to be somewhere. But I think it comes back to respect.
If you are constantly running behind, you are subtly saying to those you keep waiting that they are just not that important to you. By not honoring your commitment to be somewhere at the appointed time, you send the message that others’ time is not valuable. The advent of so much technology at our fingertips has, I think, made people a bit more lax about their commitments. You can do so many things at once, and connect with people so easily. It’s easy to get caught up multitasking, and underestimate how long it will take to get somewhere. And it’s sometimes easier to call or text someone to tell them you will be late rather than rushing to get there on time.
So if you are one of those perpetually late people, consider this the push to make a change, and figure out a way to be on time. Set your clock half an hour early. Get your smartphone to remind you of appointments more often. Get yourself organized the night before. Use any of the tricks you can think of to start changing your habits and make punctuality something to strive for.
What Good Looks Like isn’t always about protocols and technology; it’s also about showing those around you that you set the standard for good business practices. And if we say we are going to do something at a certain time, we should do it and be there. Hopefully now that you’ve taken the time to read this, you will realize the importance of being on time.