Behavior of the WeeK: Be Punctual

Completing assignments on schedule and arriving on time every time is not just polite, it can help you succeed. Punctuality is a habit, which, like a to-do list, unclutters your thoughts so you can “engage your brain” and pay complete attention to what you are doing right now. Together with these, punctuality is one of the “First Five” behaviors that we believe all individuals should practice regularly.

The word punctual means, happening or doing something at the agreed or proper time. Punctuality is not limited to arriving for events on time. Being punctual also means submitting documents or assignments on the prescribed schedule. In addition, it applies to “getting back to people” at a specific time, and many organizations have formal standards for returning calls or answering questions for customers within one or two days. It is a good practice to set such standards for yourself, even if it applies to replying to phone or text messages from friends, family and colleagues. 

Effective time managers know the value of being on time. Arriving on time for classes, meetings, and social occasions is good manners. You are being courteous to others. You are also being courteous to yourself, because punctuality is a habit which, like a to-do list, can unclutter your mind as you go through the day.

There are different ways to achieve this goal. One approach is simply planning to arrive 10 minutes early. If travelling is involved, think of best-case, worst-case, and likely scenarios for traveling time, then go with the likely case, not the best case as many people do. If the meeting or social occasion is crucial, plan for the worst-case travel time. We often regret being late, but rarely do we regret being early.

Another strategy involves utilizing your calendar effectively to plan out the day, including transportation time. There are many helpful tools like google maps that will sink with your calendar to give an estimated transport time to your next destination.