We all remember those people in elementary school that were perpetually associated with the "T" word: tardy. We rolled our eyes at them. We consulted the imaginary watches on our wrists. We tapped our feet disdainfully. Unfortunately, not much has changed since elementary school. People are still late and they get away with it, blaming traffic, the kids, or just a "bad day." But why should we let them? Being on time is important, and President George Washington agrees. It doesn't matter whether it's to a doctor's appointment, work, or lunch with an old acquaintance. Tardiness not only succeeds in annoying everyone else who has any respect for time, but it can send some very powerful messages and assumptions of which you may (or may not) be aware.
1. "I don't assign importance to this thing I am expected to."
Being late makes people assume that you don't care, even if in your mind, you do. We all know about the 15-minute grace period, but those that arrive on time (or early) are considerate enough to not delay what needs to be done.
2. "Other people will understand and cover for me."
This may not always be the case. If you are habitually late, others may have to scramble to make up for your absence. It offsets the balance of a day and even though people might be nice about it, you don't know what they're really thinking.
3. "They won't start without me."
Oh, they will. And you will just embarrass yourself when you have to interrupt everything to announce your presence.
Here are a few tips on how to start being on time and stop annoying your friends, your coworkers, and your family.
1. Go to bed earlier.
Oversleeping is one of the world's favorite excuses for being late. Don't set 100 alarms that you will sleep through. Instead, make an effort to change your sleeping schedule. If you are oversleeping, that means you are not getting enough REM sleep to feel well-rested at the hour in which you are supposed to wake up.
2. IPA before 9am
No, we don't mean that kind of IPA. We mean, "Income-Producing Activity." If you really want to impress your boss (or yourself), do some heavy brainwork before the sun rises. That extra little effort will go a long way, and much like a good breakfast, will inspire you to make good decisions for the rest of the day.
3. Consider FIFO
First In, First Out is a method of inventory valuation, but can also be applied to you. The earlier you arrive to appointments, work, family parties, and more, the sooner you're likely to be able to leave and fill your evening with other fun activities. It's smart, it's impressive, and it gives you a lot more flexibility.
It's easy to chalk tardiness up to a bunch of lame excuses, but being on time (or even early) has many benefits that can set you up for success.