When was the last time you were punctual? If you’ve always been, keep it up! If you haven’t, it’s time to step it up! Why? Being punctual is an obvious indication of respect towards the other party’s time. Punctuality is a problem in many places, and for some, it has even became a norm in their daily life. If you’ve caught yourself saying: “Oh, he / she’s gonna be late anyway”, remember: it does not matter if the person you’re going to meet is not going to be punctual – it’s about you.
The Rule of Thumb to be Punctual
“To be late is to be on time; To be early is to be before time.”
Having that said, plan your day’s time well. Make sure you allocate sufficient time for you to get to your car (some places take 10 minutes to get to the parking lot!), travel from one place to another, consider traffic conditions and etc. Always aim to get there at least 10-15 minutes before the agreed time.
I’ve personally found this rule to be particularly useful as I recently attended a meeting only to find that my client’s office runs on a 15-minute faster clock. Imagine if I would to have arrived “on-the-dot”, that would mean that it’s already 15 minutes late for them – it would definitely hurt my reputation.
In situations such as these, explaining that they are not following the current universal time does not save you.. guaranteed.
What to do if You Can’t Make it on Time
I have to agree that being punctual is no easy task, especially when you have a never ending to-do list, back to back appointments and the horrendous traffic on the roads. I’m not saying that the above can be used as an excuse, it’s just that things DO creep up unexpectedly and in situations such as these:
1. Contact the person you’re meeting at least 30 minutes before the appointment to inform that you may be late because of ___. Sometimes it will be helpful to mention your current location so that he / she will be able to estimate how long would you need to get there. Don’t be inclined to say “I’m 10 minutes away” if you are not (punctuality plays here, too!).
2. If you are unable to make it AT ALL somehow, again, call him / her up at least 30 minutes before the appointment to apologize, and see if a reschedule is possible with a valid explanation. You’ll probably lose some brownie points over here so do NOT miss (or be late for) the rescheduled appointment at all cost!
It’s Time to be Punctual!
Get started today! Keep the rule in mind and make every effort to be punctual - it will be a lifesaver, especially if you’re an entrepreneur!