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  • Writer's pictureBrian Reaves

The Discipline of Time

I am an "early" kind of guy. If I'm supposed to be somewhere, I would rather arrive an hour early and sit there rather than to arrive five minutes late. I can't stand being late.

I have a friend who is literally always late to everything. I have no idea how they handle the stress of it, or how it's possible to be late for every single thing you go to, but they make it work. Fortunately, their job offers them flexibility in their work time so they have forgiveness in that.

But that's also unfortunate. Being on time is a discipline. While we all run late from time to time, there is no excuse for being late for everything other than just doing it by choice.

The saying I've heard the most is "'Early' is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable". Punctuality shows respect to the people you are around by saying you honor their time. When you are late, you are showing disrespect to others and to yourself.

Running late also increase stress for yourself (unless you are unconcerned with when you arrive somewhere, which is an entirely different post). Setting the alarm a few extra minutes early in the morning can completely change the tide for your day whether for success or failure.

Try these simple tips:

  • Set the alarm fifteen minutes earlier than necessary. I don't advocate changing your clock forward to a false time because if you know it's ahead, you'll just ignore it thinking you have more time. That actually develops the habit of tardiness subconsciously!

  • Always give yourself too much time to get somewhere. Traffic jams happen. Jumping in the car and realizing you need to get gas before you can make it to your destination is a real possibility. Unforeseen circumstances arise every day. Give yourself a little window of extra time. It's better to arrive somewhere thirty minutes early than to arrive five minutes late.

  • Never settle for the "I'm just always late" excuse. People who are lazy love to make excuses for their actions. They love to just say that's the person they're going to be and there's no way to change that, but the simple fact is that everyone can be on time if they choose to. Allowing that lateness excuse is just holding you back and allows you to accept excuses in other areas of your life as well. In the long run it hinders your success.

Isn't it worth it to get ahead a little bit? It's one of those small changes you can make in your life that will make you more successful in the long run. It sets a strong example for the people around you, and it shows an admirable self-discipline.

So get going today! Show up early to achieve all you can with those few precious minutes you have with each day!

P.S. In the interest of complete transparency, I ran late for a meeting while writing this article because I misjudged the time! And yes, I see the irony in that.

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