What is Punctuality?
The longer one is in business the more one can appreciate the virtue of punctuality. The effects on the "bottom line", personal growth, advancement or lack of advancement, respect for other's time, and respect for business in general can all be affected by punctuality versus tardiness.
Being just a "couple of minutes" early to work or to meetings versus a couple of minutes late can have a dramatic impact on business. If you are a couple of minutes late for a meeting where there are ten other people waiting for you, then ten times those two minutes have just been lost! That is 20 minutes, rather than just 2 minutes!! If you own a business with 250 employees and each employee is "only" a couple of minutes late every day, if would be the equivalent of paying a yearly salary to one person who never shows up to work, PLUS giving them a two week paid vacation!!!
Once you look at punctuality in this manner it is easy to see how being tardy can grow and accumulate over time, so that literally hours, days, months, even years of time and life can be lost.
Being punctual for some people is built into their body clocks. It simply comes easy. And these people, who are timely, say their experience is usually a lonely one. The time spent waiting on others is time they lose! For other people, being punctual is a daily discipline. It has to be practiced and learned before it can become habit. Even then the habit may require diligence to implement. It is here that we pause... what will it take for me to become a punctual person?
Start small, build successes, and expand your practices. When you meet a friend for lunch, be realistic. Know how long it will take to get to the specified location with traffic and with the delays simply getting out the door. Acknowledge the amount of time it will take for you to "wrap up" before you would actually walk out the door. If necessary, set an alarm to leave in a timely manner that will allow you to be punctual. Keep in mind the other person's schedule and respect their time that they are investing in you.
No man is an island. Every thing we do has an impact on others. Our choice this month is to decide whether we can value and believe that punctuality is important enough to implement as a practice in our lives. It is a selfless act that honors our own limited amount of time and gives honors to others in our lives.