The following quote is oftentimes attributed to Woody Allen “Showing up is 80 percent of life”. I have to say, I couldn’t agree more. I would argue though that part of that 80% is showing up on-time. Maybe I’m just getting old and crotchety but it seems like more and more people feel like they can show up for work, appointments, dates, or anything else late with no consequences.
The guy who sits next to me at work regularly shows up 30 minutes late every day and it doesn’t seem to bother him or anyone else. I know he knows how to tell time because he’s leaves right on the dot every day. It drives me crazy but it’s not really my place to say anything.
I thought with today’s post I would offer some helpful tips for people who have trouble getting places on-time.
1) Keep a calendar. I used to keep track of everything in my head but it started to get too complicated so I started using the calendar function on my phone. I put EVERYTHING in there. It sends me an alert 15 minutes before every appointment so I’m never surprised about anything. I also give the calendar a good look-over every morning to make sure I know what to expect during the day.
2) Consider travel time. My friends who live about 20 miles away from me come over for dinner a couple times a month. They’re always late. Always. Their excuse is always the same. There was traffic, or construction, or a parade they had to drive around. To their credit, it should only take 25 minutes to get to my house, which is how much time they give themselves. The problem is the trip never goes perfectly and they’re always 15+ minutes late. If they gave themselves an extra 15 minutes each time they wouldn’t be stressed about being late and I wouldn’t be annoyed with them
3) Get a Watch. Watches have gone somewhat out of style given the prevalence of cell phones but I’m a big believer in them. When you have something strapped to your wrist all day it makes you more cognizant of time in general which will help remind you that you have places to be. I’m a big fan of military watches, like these because they can be worn anywhere and never break. Find one that suits you so you’ll always know what time it is.
4) Plan on Showing Up Early. Start planning on getting everywhere 10 minutes early. That way if you run into something unexpected along the way you won’t be late, you’ll be right on time. If you end up getting there early you can use that time to check Facebook or whatever else you wouldn’t normally have time to do.
There are some people who believe that if you show up on-time it’s because you don’t have enough to do. I think that’s hogwash. In my opinion, showing up on time means you respect me enough not to waste my time. I know I appreciate it and other people do too.