Being unpunctual when doing business and in personal commitments is frowned upon, because it makes you look that you do not take things seriously and that you are not very organized. It also has to do with the respect you have for the time of others.
Indians have a reputation of being unpunctual. Our offices and institutes are filled with people who are rarely on time. Look at our services. We become surprised – not when our train is late but when it is on time. Indian Standard Time is often described as Indian Stretchable Time.
In his press release, Subodh, a business consultant cautions Western businesses that aspire to work in India about this. However, there are many who are willing to wait for someone who is late. It looks like a positive characteristic but reflects that we tend to undervalue the significance of our time.
On the other hand, there are those who believe that time is money and that the loss of it implies the loss of money. Jeff Conte, from the University of San Diego, conducted a study in 2003 in which he determined that there are two types of people, those who have an almost exact perception of time, while there is another who perceive time more slowly and this, consequently makes them unpunctual.
However, the above is not a pretext for being late. If you are one of the people whose perception of time is slower, we present you the steps to follow to start arriving on time to your business appointments and powerfully fulfil the rest of your commitments.
- Recognize that you have a problem of punctuality and work on it.
- Identify the reasons for your tardiness and counteract.
- Use a clock, although it sounds somewhat simplistic, it will allow you to know exactly what time it is and make predictions to reach at the places in time.
- Schedule only the number of commitments you can attend. Do not saturate your schedule with many commitments, this will help you not to be unpunctual, first because maybe one of them will take more time than you have planned and second because at the end of the day you will be exhausted both physically and mentally.
- Schedule early business commitments. One tip is to start the day with those more complex issues to free your schedule towards other less important commitments.
- Plan a day before the route to go to your meetings, this will allow you to know more accurately the time it will take in the travelling. Set aside 10 more minutes for any setbacks or breakdowns.
- Prepare everything you need for your meeting the day before, such as clothing, material and documents.
- If you are already late, contact the person with whom you will have the commitment, to apologize for the delay and indicate the time of delay.
- Try to be 10 minutes early for your commitments and meetings.
- Use an alarm that tells you to go to your meeting. You can use Google assistant in your phone or set a simple alarm with a note on it.
Being punctual is a thing of principle and is a reflection of what we are and what we think is important or not. It is not easy every time but enables you to remain empowered. Being late not only disempowers you but also reduces your credibility for others.
Hence, you need two things for being punctual, first setting the right structure to organise your schedule, and second changing your attitude towards time and planning things in advance.
So the next time you’re late, remember that the big business you’re planning can be ruined by not reaching/delivering on time.