Timekeeping is my bug bear.
I’m the kind of person that arrives a good 30 minutes ahead of time and when someone then arrives 30 minutes late, I’m pretty frustrated.
In all truth though, timekeeping says a lot about you as a person.
Whether we like it or not, we all judge each other on our timekeeping… whether consciously or subconsciously.
Some will allow others timekeeping to have a big effect on their opinions of the person, some not some much… but everyone considers timekeeping to some extent.
The more formal the setting, the more timekeeping is important.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the importance of timekeeping and the messages your timekeeping is giving.
What You Will Learn
This post will help you with the following:
• The impact of lateness on other people
• What bad timekeeping tells others
• What to do when you are going to be late
• What is on time?
Being Late Bothers People
Look, bad time keeping bothers people… especially when the other person has made a conscious effort to be on time.
The longer the time drags on from the agreed meeting time, the more frustrated people become.
We start to take personal offence that someone can do this to us… ‘who do they think they are to waste my time’.
Before you’ve even arrived, the other person is way beyond doing anything for you… well, apart from giving you an ear full.
When you’re waiting around waiting for someone, you stop thinking about the reasons and benefits of the meeting, you lose focus of the purpose.
You start to actively want to make it difficult for the other person… after all they made it difficult for you!
What Does Bad Time Keeping Tell Others
There’s a number of things that bad timekeeping tells people:
Disrespectful: Keeping to agreed timescales is all about being respectful of the other person.
You’re showing that your value the other person and what they can bring.
Being late is telling the other person they’re not too important and disrespecting their time and efforts.
Unprofitable: You’re meeting someone as you feel they can add value to you in some way, shape or form.
But your lateness is eradicating this value, as your lateness drives people to do anything but help you as well as they could.
Disorganised: Do you want to trust anyone with something important to you that is disorganised?
This is what being late leads others to believe… you are unable to organise your time and yourself.
How can you organise yourself to add value to me.
Little Substance: You talked a good game when we were setting the meeting, but your showing a different side to you now your late.
All this value and substance you spoke about, is slowly but surely fading away.
You will give the impression of being solid on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper theres nothing.
Untrustworthy: You couldn’t be trusted to arrive on time, what else can’t I trust you about.
Inconsiderate: Lateness shouts ‘I’m not interested in you’… How could you when you can’t arrive at a time we agreed.
But sometimes I Can’t Help Being Late
This is a fair point.
Sometimes no matter what we do, there will be times when things transpire against us and we’re going to be late… What do we do?
Well first and foremost we must give the other person as much notice as possible to reduce the negative impact.
As soon as you know you’re going to be late, get in contact with the other person.
Give a clear and honest explanation, along with a new realistic timescale.
And be sincere when you apologise… show the other person you understand how valuable their time is.
Planning Is The Key
As always, planning is the key to success in any area of personal and business life.
Before you make a commitment to meet, check your diary to ensure you have sufficient time.
Consider how long it will take you to get to the meeting… how you will get to the meeting… and everything you will need (no forgetting anything and having to pop back to your office/home).
Confirm all meetings by email, detailing the meeting place, address, time, and so on.
You’re not just confirming the details to the other person, but your reminding yourself how important this meeting is.
The more thought you give to planning, the more chance of being on time you are going to be.
What Is On Time Though?
We all have differing opinions of this.
I’ve know people who insist arriving thirty minutes early, but I also know people who say that thirty minutes early shows that they are incapable of properly managing their time.
I personally think the second statement is a little harsh, after all I’d prefer someone to be early than late.
The way I look at thinks is to say:
15 minutes early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.
After all, being fifteen minutes early gives you the opportunity to go through the reasons for the meeting and what you hope to achieve from it… more preparation is always good.
To Wrap It Up
Look, I don’t believe that 99% of us actively try to be late or don’t care whether they are late or not.
Problem is that we don’t give it enough thought.
Not giving anything enough thought is allocating little importance in your subconscious mind.
Planning and preparing thorough for meeting, means you allocate a greater importance in your subconscious mind.
And you won’t be late!