Guest Blog : If you can’t be on time, be early – Why it matters

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Time is infinite. Yet time is also finite, as there’s no refund once it ticks by. Being late wastes everyone’s time. Chronic lateness for meetings and appointments is doing your business, company, clients, and colleagues a huge disservice. Worst of all, you’re tarnishing your own reputation and credibility. Being the resident “Johnnie or Janey come-lately” is no laughing matter. Time management matters!

Consider how many ways your business counts on effective time management. Getting paid on time is high on the list. The signing of time sensitive documents counts on the delivery service being on time. Your products being on the store shelves before they are empty is something your customers count on. If timeliness matters to your business, then it should matter to you. If you’re struggling with time management, stop and ask yourself, “why am I always be running late, and how can I change this behaviour?”

Take a few minutes to look in the mirror, and you might spot one and maybe a few of these traits. Here are some behaviours that assure you are  “Johnnie or Janey come-lately”

You don’t have a clear sense about the passage of time: It only seems like 5 minutes of work on your expense report, but turns out to be 20 minutes. You’re now 15 minutes late. It’s unwise starting an important task that’s guaranteed to take more than 5 minutes to complete.

You underestimate how long things will take: Regardless if you travel by car or transit no two commutes are ever the same. Chaos and randomness are the true rulers of the universe. Events of the unforeseen like traffic accidents, flat tires, mechanical failures, and bad weather ensure your daily routine is anything but routine.

You’re a procrastinator at the best of times:  In all likelihood you procrastinate in all areas of your life too. Focus and completing tasks is a challenge. Deadline can be motivating, but pushing them to the limit is a bigger thrill. Getting things done just under the wire is like a badge of honor. Yet how many time are you asking for extensions too?

You’re distracted easily: kind of like the dog not knowing which squirrel to chase at any given moment, especially when there’s more than one to chase. You probably have multiple tabs open on multiple browsers, with multiple chats going on, and trying to answer the bosses mission critical email, and doing none of the above with great acumen. You also call it multitasking, and think you’re good at it. It also make a good excuse for being late.

You have this burning desire to feel different or even more special than others: being punctual smacks of conformity. You probably see conformity as mediocrity.  Being the person who’s always late gives you the feeling of being different. No herd like mentality for you. The funny thing is that you probably are a conformist in what you drive, what you eat, how you dress, and how you choose to entertain yourself. Being late makes you standout. Unfortunately when it comes to working in an environment where productivity and results matter you’re standing standing out for all the wrong reasons.

Here are some tips to help improve your behaviour and time management skills:

  • If you only have 5 minutes, don’t start a task that takes 20 minutes to do. Set the timer on your phone to 4 minutes to make sure to getting out the door on time. Even better, leave 5 minutes early and enjoy a leisurely stroll alone and collecting your thoughts, you’ll be more relaxed and mentally prepared for a meeting with your colleagues or customers.
  • Give yourself time… have at least 30 minute gap between meetings. Always have something to read, as this also helps improve your focus.
  • Use a calendar. Ideally have one that sync’s to all of your devices such as Google calendar or iCal. Set the reminders to alert you with the appropriate amount of time. A 10 minute warning if you’re just walking down the hall, or 60 minutes if you have to drive across town and find parking.
  • Make sure you know what the weather and traffic conditions are like. Tune into these reports when you’re having morning coffee or even better before you jump in the shower. Always prepare for chaos and the unexpected. If you have an offsite client meeting make sure you’ve mapped the location and know what the parking situation is like. Apologizing for being unprepared doesn’t make you look professional.
  • Synchronize all of your clocks

Punctuality might not seem as important or admirable as courageousness, but it is. It’s worth remembering that taking ownership of your behaviour is always a choice. Taking ownership of improving time management skills show’s you have the quality of respecting others and yourself.

“Punctuality is the soul of business.” - Thomas C Haliburton

 As VP of Marketing, Bimal Parmar manages the global marketing strategy and execution at Celayix. With  over 20  years industry experience, Bimal is responsible for making sure the world learns about the benefits of  Celayix’s  solutions that include: advanced employee scheduling, time and attendance, employee communication as  well as  integration modules for payroll and billing.