Mindset Mondays: Punctuality Is More Than Just Being On Time

If you are here, and I am here, doesn't that make it OUR TIME?

- Eric Spicoli (our favorite time waster)

Spicoli - punctuality -Bell Digital

Punctuality Is More Than Just Being On Time

Your Word Is Your Reputation

The Problem:

Time is a fickle thing. You don’t know how much you have, and when your out, you will never be able to get more. It is one of the most elusive concepts in science and is far more complex than we think. Without getting into it’s non-linear or relative qualities, I will just talk about it in the way we, as humans, experience it every day.


Not only do we not know how much time we have on this earth, but often we are in a constant state of stress, feeling like there is not enough time in the day.


Time has often been referred to as the most precious commodity in the universe, but do we treat it as such? You might treat “your” time like that, but how do you treat other people's’ time?


Chances are, you are constantly experiencing wasted time. Time spent on your phone when you could be working or showing up late to something and causing someone else to spend their time waiting on you.


Even if you are not a time waster, are you optimizing your time for efficiency? Are you taking time to be happy or grateful? Are you giving time to things or people that deserve it?


Punctuality is more than just showing up on time to places. Punctuality is respect; saying you will do something and meaning it. It is showing that you value your and everyone else time. If time is so precious, why would we treat it as a constraint on our lives instead of a valuable asset?


How punctual you are is seen and remembered by pretty much everyone. So, do you want to be known as someone people can depend on? Or just another flake, being blown in any direction by unpreparedness, distraction, or happenstance?


The Solution:

See time for what it truly is, our greatest gift, our ultimate limited resource, our great benefactor, and our unwavering warden.


If you come to respect time for what it is, you will start to give more respect and consideration towards it. Both your time and everyone else's.


Don’t worry, EVERYONE struggles with this.


I make it a huge point to follow through with what I say I am going to do. I also make it clear to the ones I am in closer contact with, that they can always tell me if I am slipping up or wasting their time in any way. I take great pride in giving and staying true to my word and have gained a reputation for it.


BUT I am also terrible at showing up on time. Even though if I say I will be there and I follow through, I am often a little late. I am often the last one to get ready and people have waited on me my whole life.


Bosses have scolded me for consistently showing up at 8:15 instead of 8:00 sharp and friends have been waiting at surf spots waiting for me to show up and meet them. This is something I have really tried to get better at.


Especially when it comes to more important things/meetings, I have not only tried to show up early, but show up prepared.


Showing up prepared also shows people that you respect their time. So here’s how to make better commitments and follow through with them.


  1. Be intentional and deliberate
    1. If someone asks if you can or want to do something, only say yes if you fully intend on committing. Before you commit:
      1. Know what it is going to take to do it (if you know there is a conflict, do not commit)
      2. Make necessary arrangements immediately
      3. Set a reminder of some sort
    2. If you don’t want to do something, just fucking say that or decline in a nicer way. Do not string people along or just be a “yes man” for the sake of it.
    3. Tip for the ladies: if a person is hitting you up to hang out or has intentions to date you, you need to actually decide if you want the same thing or if are at least open to the possibilities. I hear ladies all the time saying people don’t get the hint, but it's up to you to communicate to them clearly. If you want to just be friends, say so. If you want to try things out, agree to meet up and actually follow through with it. Dont give a guy your number unless you are okay with him hitting you up to hangout... There is nothing worse than trying to set up plans with someone and every time, it comes to the last second and there is some excuse or someone gets blown off. It's really disrespectful and doesn’t do you any favors.  You will cut out so many "creeps" and increase meaningful connections if you just state your intentions and follow through with your commitments. 

  2. Early is on time, on time is late
    1. Do whatever you have to:
      1. Wake up earlier
      2. Set your clocks ahead 15 min
      3. Get to the area you are supposed to be then run your errands or wait at a coffee shop nearby. That way traffic is no longer an excuse.
  3. Show Up prepared
    1. If you are meeting for a job interview:
      1. Lay out your clothes the night before (don’t put your tie on in the parking lot)
      2. Pre-print multiple copies of your resume
      3. Research the company, job requirements, and your interviewer
      4. Be ready with potential responses, salary requirements and ask for next steps
  4. The GOLDEN RULE of punctuality
    1. “Treat others’ time, how you would want them to treat your time”
    2. Build your reputation on your ability to accurately commit and follow through with those commitments.
    3. Keeping your word should be your highest priority
  5. When dealing with others
    1. Make sure they are actually committing
    2. Get them to pick a date and time that works for them, now it's their responsibility, not just yours.
    3. Recognize flakes and plan accordingly
      1. If you are forced to work with them, set deadlines earlier than you actually need it
      2. If they are a friend, tell them it bothers you they don’t follow through. If they persist on wasting your time, consider not inviting them to things.


Your reputation and efficiently might take time to enact real change, but it is well worth it.


If your reputation is already damaged by being un-punctual and you want to turn that around, communicate with others that you recognize this as a weakness and you want to work on it. People sympathize with others that are honest and want to better themselves.


Lastly, I want to talk about a really important part of all this; taking time.


You might be thinking, if I commit to more things, how will I have time for myself or any of it? The beauty is, when you see all the time that is actually wasted, you will find there is so much more time in the day.


I could write an entire post on making a schedule for yourself or how to save time with organization tactics but there are so many resources out there to take advantage of.


So take time for yourself and be punctual with the things you tell yourself you are going to do. This is actually where punctuality STARTS and ENDS!


Take time for projects, fitness, relaxation, social interaction, mental health… Stop and smell the roses, look at the beautiful sunset, be present with the person sitting in front of you…. These are ways to actually increase the quality of the time you spend.


Why It’s important:


Now that you that you see time for what it is, you are making sure you are making real commitments, following through, and increasing the quality of each minute, you will discover that it's actually easier and way more enjoyable to live punctually.


It will take time but you will no longer feel a slave to the clock. You will find the autonomy that comes when you take control of your day.


You can now commit to more things that you would enjoy. Take that boxing class, Spanish lesson, or spend time with a loved one.


People will now better respect your time better and your ability to say no to things.


You will now be known for being punctual, staying true to your word, and you will no longer have to think of dumbass excuses! Haha


So my fellow humans, seize the day, a.k.a. Carpe Diem Mother Fuckers!!!!