Being on time is most often a choice! For the most part people choose to fill their schedules, usually so full that they couldn’t possibly squeeze one more item into their day. So that at the end of the day they are drained, empty and maybe even not that productive. My pastor often speaks of creating margin in your life. Margin, you know, that extra space where nothing typically resides. Creating margin can be within your financial life, your daily activities or possibly even relationships. For this conversation let’s stick to the attributes of creating extra time. Really there is no such thing as creating extra time since we all are allotted the same amount each day. If we all have the same amount provided to us then it stands to reason that you can allocate it as you wish. I certainly recognize that there are exceptions to this for everyone. Most all of us have children, work, spouses and life pulling us in different directions. However, I believe that there are ways to create this margin in our lives. Many times it is as simple as saying, NO, I can’t make it. Eliminating certain things will allow you to be on time for the items that remain in your schedule. Thus, you are choosing to be on time. Making that conscience decision will provide many advantages. These advantages aren’t just in business settings, but can reveal themselves in many facets of everyday life.
Allows you to be prepared
Have you ever rushed into a meeting and realized that you could have been more prepared? Most all of us have at some point. We work so hard to gain a meeting, a client or an introduction and to not thoroughly be prepared is such a waste of the time and effort spent to get there.
Having extra time prior to a meeting will allow for creativity or additional research. When overbooked there isn’t time to reflect on new ways to present ideas; or team brainstorming sessions to generate entirely new presentations.
Demonstrates the importance that you give to this event
Do you believe that your client, colleague or friend feels important when you arrive 15 or 20 minutes late? Habitually late people often exude an arrogance that indicates ME, ME, ME! Certainly, what I have going on is more important than you.
It may seem harsh but I will tell you that I have seen it in action. I want to encourage you that choosing to be on time says to the person that you are doing business or even life with, that I value you and your time.
Shows your stability
Having been in financial planning now for a majority of my life; I can tell you that, especially in that business, people like to do business with people who have their act together. A client will not feel overly confident with an advisor, consultant etc. who seems frazzled and ill prepared. Choosing to not overbook or overcommit allows for margin in your day and demonstrates stability in your business.
Provides greater relationships
One of the key tenants to building a relationship is spending time with someone. Time together allows you to get to know that person. When you know someone and experience a deep relationship with them; your life will all of a sudden become more rich and meaningful.
Being so void of the margin of time in life will lend itself to shallow relationships. These are certainly less fulfilling and not what I desire. Certainly if you are reading this from a business perspective you will recognize the value of really having a relationship with your client and knowing the things that are important to them. You wouldn’t ever want to be considered a transactional or even a robotic type advisor/business person. Trust me, I have seen them.
Saves you money and Makes you money
Somewhat jokingly, I was thinking that simply allowing for extra time will reduce the likelihood of getting speeding tickets when rushing from place to place. While that is probably true, I’d rather focus on how this could generate more revenue in business. Because the obvious pushback from most Type A personalities is that they have to maintain such a hectic fast paced schedule to make the income they desire or to exceed their quota. I am certainly not advocating slothfulness here, but I would suggest that you may find a richer life and possibly even paycheck from creating a greater margin within your schedule.
Everyone knows people who are that overbooked always late person. Many times the person even jokes about it themselves. Ask yourself, do you want to be that person? There are many benefits even beyond the ones mentioned above that come from creating that breathing room in your life. Give it a shot this week!