Have you ever heard the saying: “If you’re not early, you’re late”? What does that mean?
SNR Business Partner, Chantelle Svensen Lewis, explains what it means to be punctual and why it is an important trait.
So, what does it mean to be punctual? While most think that being punctual consists of simply being on time, it extends beyond the clock. To be punctual means to be a few minutes early, presentable, and well prepared. Often, being punctual regarding time influences how well prepared one may be. For example: If you have a ten-minute commute to work, and leave your house twelve minutes before you start work, you do not have much room for uncontrollable factors such as traffic. This could result in being rushed and frazzled when you finally arrive. If, however, you leave your house with twenty minutes until you start work, you have extra time to spare, allowing you to arrive slightly early and avoid any distractions or feelings of stress from running late.
Why is this so important? Svensen-Lewis mentions that lack of punctuality could indicate being uninterested, unorganized, and an inability to prioritize. In addition, when meeting with others it could demonstrate that you do not care about others (friends, family, coworkers, managers, etc.). It could also be assumed that lack of punctuality comes from not caring or valuing the job or organization you work for. In addition, other coworkers may become frustrated with continuous lack of punctuality.
While it is understood that sometimes being late is out of our hands, it is important to handle it professionally. Be sure to contact your employer or person you were planning to meet with and inform them that you are going to be late. When you do show up, be sure to apologize.
If you are often late, try to understand what it is that makes you late. Is it traffic? Your morning coffee stop? Svensen-Lewis also suggests planning and accounting for any uncontrollable circumstances as part of your morning. It’s better to be early than late!
Do not underestimate the power of being punctual. To be early demonstrates the ability to prioritize and creates positive feelings towards you by others.