Punctuality – where do you fit in?

June 12, 2008

in Productivity

Punctuality is important to me. I am an eternally early person. I am early for everything. I get stressed and cranky and yell at the kids if I’m running late. I like to have everything organised and ready to go so we can leave in plenty of time for where we have to be. This drives The Thinker a little bit bonkers, because I often get cranky at him too if he’s not getting ready when I think he should. He tends to be of the “on the dot” variety; although there is generally a mad last minute rush to be “on the dot”.

Punctuality is important in all aspects of life. Lifehack’s Punctuality Counts discusses the importance of being on time and the messages you send when you are perpetually late.

Punctuality shows respect for the people you are meeting

By not making them wait around, you are showing that you value their time as much as your own. It also shows that you think the reason you are meeting is important – time with a friend, a meeting with a colleague.

Punctuality gives the impression that you are organised

People will trust that you know where you should be and when, that you don’t forget things. It shows them that you have things under control. In return, people will be more willing to rely on you and respect your time.

Punctuality is good for your health

Rushing around at the last minute trying to get organised and get somewhere at the same time are not conducive to a stress free day.

Punctuality can save you money

That might seem a bit of a stretch, but think about it. No speeding fines, no parking fines, no late fees from the library.

Lately though, I’ve begun to realise that my earliness is meaning I spend a good chunk of some days just waiting around. Time when I could be doing something productive. The stress of making sure I’m early for everything is most likely just as bad as the stress of being late. No wonder no-one listens when I start with the “We’re going to be late! Come on!”

I’m starting to make an effort to be punctual rather than early. The methods that I use could apply equally as well to someone trying not to be late.

  • Start by working backwards. What time is my appointment?
  • Then subtract:
    • How long does it take to get there?
    • How long will it take to get a car park and walk to my appointment?
    • Do I have to do anything on the way? (eg get fuel) How long will that take?
    • Subtract another five minutes just to be safe
  • The answer is the time I need to leave

A note for the perpetually late: This is not the time to start getting ready to go. This is the time you actually need to leave.

I try to prepare something to do if I am still a little early. It might as well be productive time.

  • Make a phone call
  • Catch up on some reading
  • Make a to do or ideas list
  • Talk with the kids

Are you a perpetual early bird or latecomer? How do you try to be punctual?

Zemanta Pixie
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Previous post:

Next post: