On Time Is Late

When I was in college I was introduced to the concept of “early is on time and on time is late”. An organization published this on all of their flyers and they would lock the door the second the meeting started. They didn’t mess around about being tardy.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time and how it never seems like I have enough. It would be easy to blame the world for my poor management skills. In the end, I realize I must be better at managing time.  

There is absolutely no way that you are going to be able to anticipate every single thing that is going to slow you down. We don’t have a crystal ball (wouldn’t that be awesome) to see the future. What we can do is be ready for it.

Are you running late for a meeting because of traffic? Make a quick phone call to let someone know you’re stuck in traffic and will be a few minutes late. Apologize, even though there was nothing you can do about the traffic jam, but because now you’re the thing the other person couldn’t anticipate. If you think it will be a while, go ahead and offer to reschedule.

On the phone with a client and need to join a conference call?  Send a quick email to the person who invited you and if you’re the host, be sure you let someone know that you’ll be on the conference in just a moment.
Are you hosting a conference? People will be late. It’s human nature, and in my experience it’s usually no more than about five minutes, unless they have their times completely off. Give a little bit of wiggle room unless you stated specifically that the conference is going to be locked out at a certain time.

What do you think? If you’re late is that just too bad? Do you have contingency plans for important events? Are you perpetually late?

Does it even matter or is time irrelevant?