When we say time is all we have, we’re not just talking about showing up to work on time every day all year long. Punctuality really means getting to work ahead of time.
Punctuality, or being on time, is essential for workplace efficiency (and especially job interviews), but it might be even more critical for your personal branding.
“You can set your clock by him (or her)” is a phrase not heard much anymore. But it is still one of the most valuable compliments an employee can be paid. With modern technology like smartphones and GPS, it ought to be a no-brainer to make it to scheduled appointments on time. Yet so often, managers complain of workers who are still an ‘a day late and a dollar short.’
With this in mind, here are five compelling reasons why timeliness is a vital soft skill to strive towards.
Punctuality equals time equals efficiency.
Few things scream “disorganized,” like being late all of the time.
While being chaotic in social settings may appear eccentric and odd, it is terrible news in the business.
Employers want to know that their employees are productive, and wasting time looking for files, tracking down client notes, or looking for a missing invoice costs the organization money.
Being organized makes it much simpler to accomplish projects, arrive at meetings, and fulfill client needs every time.
You’re on time: so you’re a trustworthy coworker and employee.
When it comes to job advancement, your personal reputation is valuable.
When your coworkers think you’re on time, they’re more inclined to include you in new and exciting tasks.
After all, no one wants to entrust a crucial project to someone who is prone to miss deadlines.
You improve the image of your organization.
It’s a safe assumption that your boss values timeliness.
Customers quickly lose faith in organizations that do not regularly deliver on time in today’s competitive industry.
Whatever position you play in the supply chain, sticking to a schedule helps maintain your company’s excellent image, which is a benefit for its success – and your involvement in it.
Punctuality demonstrates professionalism and detail-oriented thinking.
Let’s face it: storming into a meeting room five minutes late with papers flying and a sweaty brow isn’t a good image.
Furthermore, you are denying yourself the opportunity to test out beneficial techniques.
Whether it’s a client meeting, a team debrief, or a staff training session, being on time allows you to double-check that you have everything you need (iPad, pencils, agenda, etc.) and go over your notes.
It’s also an opportunity to figure out the optimum sitting location for you – one that allows you to maintain eye contact with the primary speaker while also maximizing your personal visibility so you can make a meaningful contribution.
It’s difficult to be seen as a serious contributor when you’re locked in the back of a conference room, bobbing and weaving amongst coworkers simply to see what’s going on because you arrived late.
Being on time implies you’ll have all of the knowledge you need to finish a project.
Even being a few minutes late to a meeting might result in you missing out on essential data that provide the groundwork for the remainder of the conversation.
You hold your coworkers in high regard.
Few things are more aggravating than having your own fine work sabotaged by a colleague’s tardiness.
With good reason, teamwork is a fundamental driver of modern organizations. Being on time is the fuel that runs the machine. Moreover, workplaces are interconnected; when everyone completes duties on schedule, workflows smoothly across the company.
A snag in one location, on the other hand, slows down the entire line, causing everyone else to suffer.
Setting a deadline for yourself to complete your part of the process on time indicates your respect for your coworkers’ ability to fulfill their own deadlines.
Simple strategies to incorporate timeliness into your personal brand
There are several solutions available to help you reach your aim of timeliness.
A simple written diary note or an alert on your smartphone or computer may serve as a handy reminder of scheduled appointments, phone calls, and deadlines.
Use a time management tool like Remember the Milk or Time Doctor to keep track of your tasks.
Also, avoid attempting to outwit the clock.
Learn exactly how long a task, a meeting, or a phone conversation will take — and manage your time better.
Setting unreasonable, strict deadlines will almost always result in you falling behind.
Allow for unforeseen disruptions by allowing some wiggle room.
It might assist you in maintaining your timeliness without being concerned about falling behind schedule.
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