Being On Time Ahead of Time

Published on 17 May 2024 at 11:03

Where do you fit in?

Being On Time Ahead of Time

Jill Fandrich, PharmD, CRPh


How important is it to you to be on time? What do you consider “on time”? If an appointment or event is scheduled for 8 am, what time is "on time" to you? Do you arrive at 7:40 am for potential intake information or sign-in procedures that may be necessary? Do you arrive at 7:59 am with less than a minute to spare? Or do you arrive at 8:05 am and determine your time is more valuable than the other party’s? 


Who is involved in the appointment or event? Is “who” a factor in your actions? What is the reason for the appointment? Is the “reason” a factor in your actions? Is it a service where you are helping them, or are they helping you? Is this a factor? What is the desired end result of the appointment? If the appointment is you serving someone else in some regard, does this alter your importance of being on time? If you are seeking the help of someone else, do you change how you view time? Do you see your time as more valuable than someone else's? Or do you value their time as well? What would cause any shift in this balance or decision?


How do you determine the time needed before a scheduled appointment or event? Have you already established what preliminary preparation may be required? Are there any questions you need to seek answers to? How did you assess for travel time or heavy traffic patterns if the appointment requires traveling? What other potential unforeseen circumstances may occur? Is your phone or internet connection working properly if the scheduled event is from home? Are you free from distractions during this time? How many other potential disruptions can you name? Do you consider these when you make your preparations? Do any of them significantly alter your actions?


What do you know about the appointment or event? Do you need to do any research before the appointment to make the most of this situation? What do you know about the other party? What might they be expecting of you? Are you prepared to offer what they need? Do you know what they may need from you? Are you prepared to negotiate or find out more? What are you providing for them? How much effort did you put into your preparation? What is your expected or desired outcome?


What are you hoping they have prepared for you? What preparation on their part would be necessary for you? What would be the consequences if they were unprepared for your appointment or meeting? What if they aren’t ready for you at 8 am? Will this inconvenience you? What if they didn’t show up at all? How would this affect you? What if they were there but acted disinterested in your needs or reason for being there?


What if they noticed you there early and asked if you would like to begin the session early? What if they focused all attention on you, showing full concern and compassion for your situation? How would you respond if they made you feel that, at that moment, you were all that mattered? How would this cause you to respond in return? Could this affect future interactions throughout your day? Would this potentially affect your demeanor at this point? Do you think this would work similarly if the roles were reversed?


So, consider both sides. How do you think the situation would be if you were late and apathetic to the other party? What if you arrived early, prepared well, and gave them your undivided attention? What if they weren’t prepared for you at the appointed time and didn’t even know who you were once the appointment began? What if they allowed phone or texting interruptions to occur as you spoke with them? Analyze both sides of this situation. What have you discovered about each scenario? How do you feel about each scenario? Which situation do you prefer? Which scenario would have lasting positive results? Have you interacted with anyone recently and not given them your full respect? Has anyone treated you in this manner lately? What will you do differently next time?


Have you ever let biases or differences cause you to make less respectful choices? Do you normally critically think about a situation and use logic to bring you to a conclusion? Or do you allow feelings to drive your actions? Is there a pattern to why you make the choices you do? Are they aligned with your values? Are you able to take all biases out of your decision-making process and reason your way to a logical solution or response? To whom do your actions benefit? Consider all possible outcomes of your actions. How can you make fair decisions for both you and the other party? What if each time you committed to something at a desired time, you followed through with your commitment by being well prepared and with plenty of time in advance for unknown circumstances? How might this benefit both you and the other party?


Do you allow the opinions of others to affect your decisions? How about pressure from others? Do you fall into a “herd mentality” and conform? Or are you strong enough to make decisions based on your own logical reasoning?

How will you think critically the next time you face a scheduled appointment or event? What is the right thing to do? What did you base your decisions on? What are you already doing correctly? Are you considering your effects on the other person? What changes do you need to make for next time? 

What other circumstances or areas in your life could be positively affected by first critical thinking?

What are your thoughts about being on time ahead of time?


More information on critical thinking can be found in:

Who Connects Your Dots?

Medically Speaking, Who Connects Your Dots?

Students: Who Connects Your Dots?


Punctuality is not just about being on time; it's a reflection of your respect for others and a demonstration of your commitment to excellence.

Dr. Jill

Who will you share this with?

Add comment


There are no comments yet.