Don’t worry, this won’t be some preachy post about why you should always be punctual. You already know that tardiness is disruptive and disrespectful. You also know it can’t always be helped. In a world of client emergencies and back-to-back meetings and conference calls that all seem to run five minutes over, it’s easy to think of tardiness as the norm.
Personally, I view tardiness as a sign that I’m off my game. I don’t like the feeling I get when I insert myself into a meeting that has already started. The organizer has to repeat whatever I missed and the attendees who were gracious enough to arrive on time have to hear the same agenda item all over again. I imagine that they are annoyed with me in that moment. I feel off-balance as I try to figure out what I can contribute that won’t be redundant or irrelevant. I also feel less relaxed than I would have been if I had arrived early. It certainly isn’t the way I like to show up in the world.
If you share this perspective, I invite you to join me this coming week as I endeavor for consistent punctuality. Yes, it means we will have to plan a little more carefully. We may have to schedule buffers into our calendars and excuse ourselves from meetings that run over. We may have to wait for the chronically late. But we will be reclaiming something that is easily lost in the daily whirlwind of our busy lives: control over our schedules. I, for one, could use a little more of that.