One afternoon, I found myself scurrying around the block to get to the building beside the one next to my office for a meet-up to do a business deal closure. It was almost five o’clock in the afternoon and I wanted to get to the rendevous on time for two things: 1.) being late really makes me feel uncomfortable regardless the importance of the meeting, 2.) I am squeezing the appointment between other appointments that are only 30 minutes apart!
All the while, I was hoping that the other guy arrives on time and that the activities we need to undertake will take only twenty minutes or less. Otherwise, I miss the next item on my schedule and it will affect the next one, and the next one. Then, chaos!
Now, how did I get myself in this situation in the first place when I woke up in the morning to a straight forward schedule?
Here’s what happened:
I had an appointment at 10:00 AM and I was at the agreed location for a full hour, starting to wonder which ‘ten o’clock’ we had agreed on because no one was showing up nor am I getting any updates on my phone. I finally received an SMS saying that he can’t make it on time – get this – an hour and thirty minutes after ten o’clock in the morning.
Fast forward, he finally decided to send someone else in his stead seven hours past the originally agreed time. That left me no window to re-arrange my schedule so there I was scrambling for an appointment, uncertain what will happen next. On account of someone else’s inability to put his affairs in order.
That’s an experience I certainly would not want others to have on account of my actions. So, I’m glad my folks spent the time to build in me and my siblings these very simple things which had been very helpful in keeping up with “time”:
- Wake up at the same time everyday. Even if you slept late last night. I never truly understood what this meant until I had my own family. Specially when our first born came to our lives. For babies, consistency in schedule must be followed – or at least that’s how we did it. So we had to wake up the same time every morning to prepare and give the baby a bath. We do this up to this day. But life’s grinds don’t always allow us the luxury to wake up at the same time strictly anymore, so at times, at least one of us, between me and my wife, gets up to keep things going. But we never fall far from the standard wake up time. This is not only useful for having kids. It has also been useful in keeping schedules. Waking up early gives us flexibility to adjust whenever we come across schedule or task challenges.
- Be 30 minutes earlier than call time. When I started working at an IT company, one important thing my dad told me was target to be at the venue/office at least 30 minutes earlier than required time. This is to mitigate possible obstacles on the way to work. Think traffic jams, long queues at bus terminals, a car broke down on the high way, etc. You get the point.
- Show up at the time you said you would show up. And perhaps during this smartphone age, let people know if you can’t make it on time. There are a lot of means now a days. It is very different if you just show up late, than if you show up late but you informed ahead. People will understand your situation and also will be able to adjust their own plans.
Time is your most precious commodity and yet most of us live our lives as if we have all the time in the world. – Robin Sharma