Etiquette has changed a lot in the last decades, but some rules have remained the same, even if many people choose to disregard them. One of the most important rules is being on time. Why does it matter so much? Let’s find out.
It shows care
The first thing is that being on time shows care. You respect the person and their time, and you take the trouble to get to your meeting or date or appointment early enough. While it might not always be true, there is the idea that you are late because you don’t care, and that’s the impression many can walk away with.
It proves trustworthiness and responsibility
Getting somewhere on time is easy, but if you fail to do it, it can show that you lack organization or that you did not take the situation seriously. Being on time might not be enough to establish your reputation as a reliable person, but it can be a strong first step. It proves that you can fulfill a commitment, starting with the basics.
If you don’t arrive on time, it will cost you
One of the benefits of arriving on time is that it saves you from facing the negative consequences of being late, and these can be significant. You might be taken less seriously. You might lose some of your ability to influence or convince these people. You might appear unprofessional, disorganized, or irresponsible.
Different people will react in different ways to you being late, but it will be a serious mark on your character and will leave a bad impression for some.
It prevents stress
Being late can be stressful. That might affect you first. You will spend your commute worrying and calculating, thinking up excuses, or expecting the other person to be angry. All of this might change your mindset and shift your focus. On the other hand, you being late can also stress out the other person.
If you start out being stressed, you are already giving yourself a disadvantage. It might make you less focused, more prone to distraction and mistakes, and less composed.
It puts you in control of your time
Being late can make you feel like you are not in control of your time. It can put you in uncomfortable situations, force you to apologize, create unexpected negative situations. When you are running late, you put yourself at the mercy of other factors.
Sure, something can always happen, but it feels a lot more infuriating when you are already behind. On the other hand, being on time can help you feel more autonomous, more in control of your decisions. You can manage your time more efficiently by trying to be on time.
It makes you more efficient
Being on time can help you make it to the next task in time and the next one too. While the difference might not be very significant, those minutes do add up. Punctuality can be a value that will make a difference in how productive you are during the day and how much gets accomplished. It is also a value that has accumulative effects, as over time, you are likely to feel more benefits.
For instance, you might develop a reputation for being timely and dependable, which will play in your favor. Even if you are late sometimes, it’s much easier to minimize the damage related to this situation when you are usually on time.
Overall, being on time is a simple habit that can make a big difference in your life. It does not require an excessive effort, but it can change how others perceive you, make you more productive, make you feel more in control, and boost the chances for a positive outcome in any given situation.
While you can’t always control all the factors involved, leaving earlier, calculating your time, and making the commitment can help you be on-time more often.