Life’s rarely easy; if things just fall into place for you time and time again — kudos to you; I’m totally envious.
This morning I overslept, getting me to church about a half-hour late. I could try and justify it to you right now, but why come up with excuses? Let’s just face the issue head-on: one of the areas in which I could improve is my tardiness.
I’ve never been one to be early or on time, unless I really try at it. My parents will deny it, but I know that this had been passed down generationally. Some examples I’ll use for proof:
- When I was about 7 years old, my brothers and I were the last people to arrive for a friend’s birthday party, somewhere around a half-hour late. Too bad that this friend just happened to be having this party right next door to our house!
- My parents would always say that we need to be out of the house by a certain time for an event. But then, we’d be waiting at that time to leave, while our parents would still need 15-20 minutes to finish getting ready… of course, unless the event was really important…
- Once, my family was hosting Christmas dinner, with my Mom instructing guests to arrive at 4. I don’t think anyone showed up at 4 exactly, but instead trickled in through the hour following. The best was an uncle who arrives with his family at 10:30 still expecting food! My Dad had to hold my Mom back, because she was more than ready to throw down right there and then!
So yes, tardiness has been in my culture for quite some time. But even though it’s part of my nurture, do I have to keep it in my nature? Definitely NOT. From what I know, this is what tardiness can do to you:
- Lessen your credibility and respect among peers
- Give people who are hearing about you for the first time negative associations with your name
- Cause people to believe that you are unreliable
- Cause you to miss out on important information
I’m sure that there’re others that I’m not covering, but what it really comes down to is that people won’t take you seriously if you’re not on time. Oftentimes I’ll try to make light of a situation…
- Sorry, I’m running on Jamaican time!
- (insert obviously fantastical yet hilarious excuse for being late here)
- I’m never late; people wait!
…but in the end, it still comes down to being the comic relief for a situation rather than a figure of authority or respect. If that’s what you want, then so be it — go for it! But in some situations, that the last thing you want to be.
So how do we solve this problem? Really, you need to make a conscious effort to change, making the decision to become a person who values punctuality in yourself and others. By doing that, you’ll effectively create the environment that nurtures a new approach to life for yourself. I found a few resources that offer some guidance on how you make a start down this path:
- Punctuality Counts: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/punctuality-counts.html (punctuality shows mastery, competence, integrity and value)
- How to be On Time Every Time: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/how-to-be-on-time-every-time.html (10 tips on how to change your habits to make yourself habitually punctual)
- How to be Punctual: http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Punctual (echoes many sentiments from the first article with some more of its own)
Personally, I’m going to work on making sure things get done when they need to get done, and I’m where I need to be when I say I’ll get there. It won’t be easy. I’ll keep you posted on it 🙂
Some food for thought! If this is an area where you too are struggling, I hope you take some action and make the necessary changes to move forward… before it’s too late.