As a mom and business owner I am hyper aware of the value of my time and the opportunity cost for any activity that takes away from time with my family or time providing for my family. So you can understand why I find it annoying when people are late, leave me waiting, or worse, forget about our meeting altogether. It seems as though punctuality isn’t as important as it used to be.
I know some of you are jumping to conclusions now. No, this is not an issue isolated to the millennial generation. I have been left waiting and stood up by people in all generations, with no noticeable concentration from a single generation. So it’s not an age issue. The issue is that, as a culture, we have succumbed to “busyness” syndrome and forgotten the value of punctuality and planning.
The Value of Punctuality
It Demonstrates and Earns Respect
When you show up on time for a meeting, it shows that you value and respect both your time and theirs. It shows that “I really want to work with you and will make you a priority and give you the time and attention you deserve.” If it’s a client, they will see it and feel it and give you their business.
It Demonstrates Trust
Being where you say you’re going to be when you say you’re going to be there shows dependability and builds trust. I want to do business with people I can trust. I won’t hand my money, time, or reputation over to someone I don’t trust.
It Makes You More Productive
Running late has a way of snowballing. If you’re late for your first meeting, chances are you’ll be late for the rest and either lose out on precious time or stretch your day out longer than you want.
It Makes You Less Stressed
If you’ve ever run late you’ve felt the stress and pressure to hurry. Not only is that dangerous when you’re behind the wheel, but in today’s world we have enough stress threatening our health. We don’t need to add to it.
It Makes You More Efficient
Efficiency is different from productivity. Efficiency is using fewer resources to do the same tasks. Productivity is what you get out of those tasks. Being punctual reduces the amount of time you spend stressing about running late rescheduling, apologizing, etc. You’re able to show up, get down to business, and direct your energy toward productive things.
Bottom line, being on time is good business. It demonstrates quality and care to the client or prospect, and puts you in charge of your day and what you do with it. Yes I know that there will be the occasional unforeseen circumstance—a car accident, a client who won’t stop talking, the dog runs away as you’re heading out the door, your teenage daughter is, well, being a teenager—we’ve all been there. But when being late becomes a habit instead of a rare occurrence we have a problem. Help me put a little social pressure out there. Let’s make punctuality trendy again.