Like it or not, being on time matters, a lot.
Anyone can be late a handful of times. I am no paragon of punctuality and I must admit that I have my fair share of not being on time. According to a new research by Blue Jeans Network, 81% of meetings don’t always start on time.
So does this mean that tardiness is fast becoming the norm? Well, that might be the case but that doesn’t mean it’s OK. If you are someone with the habit of being sloppy about time, it’s time to stop.
For this post, we’re going to highlight the importance of always being on time.
Why Punctuality Matters?
Below are some of the compelling reasons why it’s important to be punctual at all times.
Because You Respect the Time of Others
Whether it’s intentional or not, arriving late to work, meetings, and functions is like saying, “I don’t really care about you or your schedule.”
If you can’t quite visualize why this is extremely rude, just imagine someone arriving late to your function or meeting and say the exact same words in your face. Well, not quite but it should feel like a real slap in the face.
Anytime that you’re late, it could potentially have a major impact on others. If someone is late, others will have to scramble and make adjustments to their plans. People will be inconvenienced, frustrated, angry… you get my drift. Being punctual is the best way to make a statement that you respect people and their time.
Because You Want to Make a Good First Impression
When you are joining a new workplace or have been invited to be a guest speaker, your punctuality creates the first impression. Although no one will tell you directly (unless you’re always late), people are actually very observant and they do monitor your timings.
However, this doesn’t mean that being punctual should only be practiced at a new job. If you have chronic lateness, you could be fired from your job even if you think that it’s a secure one.
Being punctual also show others that you are a trustworthy and reliable person.
Because You Want to Foster Morale and Productivity
In a workplace where everyone is punctual, you can trust that team morale will be at an all-time high.
When a member of the team is always late, the work flow will be negatively affected as the rest of the team will have to make adjustments to make up for the delay. Team members who are waiting for a change of shift will become impatient and agitated because they know their replacement will be late, again.
Because of this, tension and resentment will rise in a team where someone is always late. The rest of the team will feel that lack of respect for their time.
Because You Know How to Manage Your Time Well
Aside from showing respect to another person’s time, being punctual demonstrates that you value your own time as well.
Being on time is a definite proof that you know how to properly manage your time. If you know proper time management, the excuses that are normally associated with tardiness will not have happened at all. Stuck in traffic? Location of appointment is too far? Or you had a hard time waking up? These excuses are not valid at all with a person who knows how to manage his time well.
Punctuality means taking everything into account and requires a great deal of foresight – all of these reflect well on your character.
Because You Don’t Want to be Viewed Negatively
Staff members and employees who are chronically late are usually viewed more negatively, not just by their co-workers. Sometimes, customers or clients can see what’s going on. When an employee is always late for an appointment, the customer will have doubts that the job will be done properly.
Being on time demonstrates a high level of professionalism and the desire to do the job well. As mentioned above, it’s proof that you know how to manage your time and is always well-prepared. A person who always shows up late for appointments will now instill confidence in customers.
Every employee is a reflection of any company or business. That one person who is chronically late will permeate a bad reputation in the community which will negatively affect the company.
Because You Don’t Want to Weaken Your Position
When you arrive late, you are starting things on the wrong foot.
Whether you’re going to a job interview or business meeting, you don’t want to start an appointment with an apology. As I have mentioned earlier, being late is just not a good look and creates a not-so-favorable first impression.
When you’re late, you also tend to become more stressed and scatterbrained. Once you lose your composure, you are prone to mistakes and will make the other person question their choice of working with you.
Why would a potential employer or client have confidence in you if you can’t even be trusted with time?
Because Tardiness is a Vicious Cycle
When every meeting starts five minutes late, do you think that the rest of the staff members will bother showing up on time? When people show up late to a meeting and find out that it hasn’t started yet, this gives them the confirmation that they had the right timing.
On the other hand, those who arrived early will have to wait like a bunch of suckers and swear won’t make the mistake again. Eventually, you will have created a workplace where nothing starts when it’s supposed to.
Tardiness creates a vicious cycle, and a toxic one at that.
How to Be On Time Every Time
Punctuality is a skill that every man should master. Fortunately, it doesn’t require special talents or skills. Below are some quick tips to help you become more punctual.
1. Get Up On Time
When the first thing you do in the morning is procrastinating, it will be difficult to be on time for anything. Once your alarm clock goes off, get up on your feet instantly. If you always find yourself hitting that snooze button, put your alarm clock on the other side of the room. This forces you to get up.
Most importantly, develop and sleeping routine that won’t require an alarm clock. Once you develop a solid sleeping routine, you will go to bed and wake up at the same time daily.
2. Determine Why You Need to be Punctual
When your motivation to be on time is strong enough, you will find a way to make it work.
By relying on your why, you can overcome the bad habit of being tardy. The best way to stop the habit of being late is to have a strong reason behind the transformation. Thus, it will help if you identify the main reason why you want to do it.
Take a pen and paper and write down the reasons why you don’t want to be tardy anymore. Additionally, write down the positive impact that punctuality will bring about in your life. Use these benefits to motivate yourself each and every day.
Make sure that the reasons you cite are strong and numerous.
3. Plan Enough Time for the Task that You are Doing Before
In most cases, tardiness is a result of a domino effect. This happens when a previous activity took more time than necessary. This is why you need to be more realistic with your time allocation. For example, don’t allocate just 30 minutes for an appointment that you know will take at least an hour. Times with previous experiences are usually a good benchmark for time allocation.
According to Shlomo Zalman Bregman, the author of Force of Nurture: How to Reach Your Ultimate Level of Greatness and Attain Unstoppable Results in Every Aspect of Life,“It’s very hard to live life with razor thin margins.” This is why you need “time cushions.”
For example, you know that the drive to the airport can take an hour but you have to take into account some potential factors. What if the traffic is rough? What if there is a road closure? Is the weather going to be good? Account for everything that can go wrong and allocate a comfortable time cushion.
The Take Away
More than anything, time is the most precious resource there is. Once time is spent, you can never get it back.
So it’s important that you manage your time properly and respect other’s time as well. If you have a punctuality problem, own up to it. Quit the excuses and take responsibility for the problem. The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that there is one.
Being always late to be a non-conformist is a rather pathetic attempt at feeling like an individual. You just lack respect for other’s tine and being selfish.
Hopefully, this article has helped you become a man who’s always on time.