Early is on Time!

by | Jul 4, 2018 | Video | 0 comments

How do you feel when you’re late? If you’re anything like me, you absolutely HATE it.

The stress, the disruption of other people’s days, and the perceived impact upon my reputation combine to create more anxiety and negative consequences than I care to deal with.

So, why is tardiness such an issue and, more importantly, how do we fix it?

Lateness isn’t a minor issue among friends. It’s a global frustration. Companies are forced to write and administer detailed policies in an attempt to limit the impact (some studies place the cost at well over a billion dollars) to their bottom line.

I’ve managed teams from a few people to a few thousand and in every case we heard the same excuses: traffic, family, faulty alarms the dog ate it. etc.

After reviewing thousands of these situations I can confidently and objectively say that, with incredibly rare exceptions, the stated reasons are actually excuses designed to preserve our ego and image. In other words, they’re BS, shared with the hope of maintaining a carefully designed image nobody believes is real.

So, what if we get past the excuses and accept responsibility? Maybe even admit being late is the result of poor planning on our part? Well, if that’s the case, we might have to admit we made a mistake and *gasp* DO something about it.

The good news is that fixing this is simple. Not easy, but definitely not complicated. Also, the results will be a HUGE positive impact in both your life and your example to others.

The correction is to adjust your mindset to “Early is on time.” Plan to be 15 minutes early to EVERYTHING. I promise if you practice this, it will be transformative. It certainly was for me.

Starting NOW (why wait?), adjust your schedule to be 15 minutes ahead of your committed time. Now, if something goes wrong–maybe even a couple somethings–you’ll still be on time. You’ll be calm, prepared, and without need of flimsy excuses. If everything goes well (does that actually happen for some people?), you’ll arrive with time to spare. You can use this time to complete another task, make a call, or simply relax.

The most common objections to this plan are either, “I’ll lose so much time if I add 15 minutes to everything,” or “My schedule is so tight that I can’t do that.” To the first I remind my clients that they are currently using this time, we are merely framing it differently. Nothing is lost, perspective is gained. For the second concern, I suggest a schedule review to ensure proper prioritization and flex time is being used. Often it is not.

Being on ‘Early is on time’ person will not only create calm in your world, it will also cause you to stand out from the crowd in a positive way. While maybe it shouldn’t be the case, the truth is that most of the world follows. They are late. By simply showing up on time (or early) you will be a step ahead. Like compound interest, the impact of this action cascades into long-term wins over time.

What timeliness strategies work well for you?

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