28 – Punctuality
Show respect for others by doing the right thing at the right time. Be aware of your calendar, and also the time it will take to prepare for the event and arrive at your destination. If it involves traveling, consider traffic movement and the possibility of accidents. Or, if it’s during the school year, factor in the potential for buses slowing you down. If you are fortunate enough to have a meeting or presentation from your home or while you are already at the office, have your work completed in advance and be present or login in plenty of time, making sure your internet is cooperating and your computer or laptop is working efficiently and is updated, and all of your files and paperwork are in order. Clearly define your schedule so you will not have to remember everything on your agenda. Write it down or enter it into your calendar phone app with a notification alert or two. This could help keep your mind clear and focused on your work and eliminate unnecessary stress or confusion. Be reasonable with your workload, and do not take on more than you can responsibly handle. And make sure the workload of your associates is evenly balanced as well if this is within your control. Never allow careless actions on your part to be why someone else is waiting. This is a way of saying your time is more valuable than the time of the one in waiting. This is not a good message.
Characteristics of Being Punctual:
- It shows respect. Arriving on time, preferably in advance, shows respect for everyone else involved, whether it’s a work-related meeting, family gathering, or community function. You respect people enough and value their time to arrive at the agreed-upon time or even earlier without inconveniencing anyone. You care about them enough and show respect by being punctual. Punctuality shows you care about the person and the cause. Whatever the topic or event may be, it matters to you. Or at least, if it matters to someone else and you made a commitment, you respect them enough to follow through for their sake, and your reputation is also respected and protected.
- It’s the right thing to do. Begin each day focused on doing the right thing. What is the most important thing that needs to be addressed today? That is probably the best and the "right" place to start. Be punctual, follow your moral compass, and know the pulse of your business and family. What are your goals? Align your agenda based on these goals and know which activities are most important to attaining these goals. Plan your schedule accordingly. It is important always to do what is right and arrive when you say you will. Allow what is right to align with what is important and beneficial to achieving your established goals. Remember to review your goals daily and ensure they are all still relevant to your success. If any need is altered, take time to tweak them and have the.
- It’s professionally accurate for your next daily review. It is very unprofessional and inconsiderate to keep people waiting, at least when it is within your control. Take responsibility for your actions and be on time. Saying traffic was heavy is an excuse. You should give yourself enough time to account for heavy traffic or other potential obstacles. Accidents are unpredictable. However, give yourself an extra cushion of time to account for this possibility as well. Avoid allowing excuses to stand for a reason to be delayed. It is your duty to plan and account for possible obstacles, especially in a leadership position. You are leading by example, therefore, take the time to accommodate potential disruptions and always take a professional approach to value the precious time of others and your own.
- Highlights time management skills. Being punctual puts a spotlight on your ability to manage time. As a leader, you must exemplify time management to your staff, peers, and family. Allow them to learn the importance of the example you set. It is a priceless leadership quality to display. Perhaps even offer or direct them to a course or study on time management, if needed, for the benefit of your company and their personal lives as well. It is important for them to understand this key leadership and lifestyle skill.
- It shows you are conscientious. Awareness of time shows you are a careful person. It is an important skill that you take the time to embrace. You show mindful awareness of details and prioritize this in your life and your leadership. Your reputation is displayed with every action or inaction you take. Be aware of the smallest to the largest details. Time is a valuable asset to both you and others, as well as your business and family. Give it the attention and priority that it deserves.
- It shows organization. Punctuality is a trait that will more than likely not be found in an unorganized person. Rather, when you have order and structure in your life, you consider the importance of being timely. You have an organized and preplanned schedule you intend to follow, and you value showing up in advance, being prepared, and being punctual. You are organized, alert, and ready to interact successfully.
- It’s an element of success. It is difficult to be successful if you aren’t disciplined enough to be on time. Punctuality is one of the key ingredients for success. It shows you to be reliable and indicates time management and a detail-oriented person, responsible and conscientious enough to be at the right place in plenty of time, prepared and organized. It speaks of your dedication and loyalty to your company, associates, and family. It is a way of saying, without words, that they are all very important to you.
“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” William Shakespeare
“It is difficult to prove yourself reliable when people are required to wait for you.” Wes Fesler
“Being on time to appointments and meetings is a phase of self-discipline and an evidence of self-respect. Punctuality is a courteous compliment the intelligent person pays to his associates.” Marvin J. Ashton
“Preparedness and punctuality are two of the most important qualities of a leader.” John Andreas Widtsoe
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