Timely…coming early or at the right time

Are you timely ALL of the time?  How about MOST of the time? Most of us know if we are timely even if we don’t admit that timeliness is not something that we do well.

Think about these situations:

You’re in a meeting that has been running for 10 or 15 minutes and the participants are all actively engaged in the work at hand except for John. He’s late…again.

You’re waiting at the box office for a friend to buy tickets and go into the movie. The movie is due to start in just a few minutes and they’re not there. What to do? Buy a ticket and go in? Wait until they show up and risk missing the beginning of the movie? Yep, they’re late…again.

You’re at the diner to have breakfast with one of your networking contacts. The minutes are ticking by and you have another meeting immediately afterwards. They’re late…again.

You get the picture. Who hasn’t experienced one or all of these situations and it’s not fun.

As for the folks that are frequently late – they always have an excuse don’t they. Traffic, a last minute client crisis, a phone call from which they couldn’t disengage, it’s always something.

Here are 3 suggestions on how you can be sure to not be “that guy” that is frequently (always!) late:

This seems almost ridiculously simple but here goes – start out early! Many people cut it too close and leave no margin for any error. If you anticipate that it will take 30 minutes to get to where you are going make it a point to leave at least 45 minutes or more to arrive at your destination. There’s no downside. You’ll arrive early and armed with your smartphone or tablet you’ll surely be able to occupy your time productively.

Unless it is a true emergency don’t get hung up on calls when you know that you will need to leave shortly. If you are already on a call see if you can disengage in a polite and considerate manner. Let’s face it, most people are as busy as you are and they have other things to attend to as well. Along the same vein don’t start working on tasks that will require more time than you have for completion. The urge to finish what you have started is great and if you begin it only means that you will be late for what is on your calendar.

Honestly care about being late. For many people the act of being late doesn’t seem like such a big deal. They think “so what, you didn’t have to wait that long” but the person doing the waiting might have an entirely different perspective on the situation. Being late isn’t a positive attribute and if you care about the impression that you are leaving on friends and business associates alike then you should attempt at all costs to be on time.

Start being attentive to these points and I think you’ll find yourself with fewer instances of being late. And if you know that you are always on time but know people that aren’t please share this post with them.