|A snapshot of my Google calendar, one of the many tools I use to be on time. I may need more. Photo by J. Berta|
"Can't. Stand. Late." Dawn Strauss-Berta, Facebook, August 9, 2015, citing to Brent Beshore's article on Forbes.com, "5 Minutes Early Is On Time; On Time Is Late; Late Is Unacceptable."
My wife, Dawn, despises being late. She is pretty tolerant of most of my imperfections (and that is a long list), yet this is one that she really, truly, does not like about me.
And full-disclosure, being on time is a challenge for me. I do think I have gotten better at it, however I'm far from perfect on this front.
What inspired this blog post was a...spirited discussion Dawn and I had last night about the virtues of being on time. I launched the first salvo by saying, "I had a meeting last week and someone was a few minutes late. It was no big deal to me."
Dawn then proceeded to remind me of her position and that being late for any reason is unacceptable. Did I mention my lovely bride is from New Jersey? Well, she is. And she let me know in no uncertain terms (in a tone and tenor that would make Chris Christie proud) how wrong I was.
We then shifted our discussion to the article that is mentioned in Dawn's Facebook post and I have a link to it in the sources section. If you have...issues with being on time.
Here's a quote from the article that sums up (at least for me) Beshore's position on this subject:
"All joking aside, being late is unacceptable. While that sounds harsh, it’s the truth and something that should be said more often. I don’t care if you’re attending a dinner party, a conference call, or a coffee meeting – your punctuality says a lot about you."
Before I delve in more deeply into this subject, An apology to this author is in order. I'm actually on a "streak" of apologies (2 for 2 blog posts, please see yesterday's post) Regarding the author, I initially and incorrectly dismissed him as some self-righteous freelance journalist lecturing me. I was wrong. He's a whole lot more than that. Here's his bio:
"I’m an entrepreneur, the Founder/CEO of adventur.es (#28 on 2011 Inc. 500), an angel investor, a winemaker (Beshore Family Vineyards), a poverty relief advocate, and the husband to a Ph.D."
Pretty impressive. So when someone this successful offers his point of view about being on time, one should at least pay him the courtesy of listening. I suppose if I want to zip up my jacket and go stand in the cold light of truth, I don't like his message for one simple reason:
There, I said it. he's right. And so is Dawn. And so is my Dad who is with rare, rare exceptions at least 10 minutes early to everything.
I suppose I tolerate people being late because on some subconscious level, it validates my position. Put another way, I'm saying to myself, "It's OK if I'm late on occasion as I tolerate it in others. I'm not a hypocrite."
Fair enough. I'm not a hypocrite. But I'm still late, even a little.
It appears I am not the only one. It seems as if being late is acceptable conduct. I have some citations in the sources below that help support the point that being late is a common malady. People are late for work, meetings, even flights. (Ever seen someone running thru the airport like O.J. Simpson in a 70s Hertz commercial? I have.)
While I do not embrace all of reasons Beshore decries lateness, he does have one point: With rare exceptions being late, like many other maladies is curable. We just may not like the medicine.
I recall years ago reading David Allen's book, Getting Things Done. In this book, Allen presents a way to organize your life. Central to his premise is that we all make agreements with ourselves and others to do things. As I recall, part of Allen's message is that we all need to get better and honoring the commitments we make. I have a link to him in the credits below and encourage you to check him out if you'd like to learn more about him.
I mention him as I'm going back to his book. I'm also going to make the commitment right here, right now (thank you Van Halen) to be 100% on time for everything I commit to doing.
I'll report back in a week with how I did. In the meantime, please feel free to share with me any tips or tricks you have to be on time. I know there are a ton of tools out there, from Google Calendar to other apps, alarms, ect. I suppose the biggest one is to simply leave earlier. The second may be to intentionally schedule less "stuff" and follow Allen's approach about the calendar being a sacred place for events and ONLY events. These two things may be the cure to the malady that ails me.
We shall see.
Be well my friends...and check your watch/smartphone!