I'm sure everyone has been late to a meeting. Having been through the experience on more than one occasion, I thought it may be helpful to pass along some observations. You can always make more money in life, you can't make any more time. Make sure you hold other people's time in the highest regard!
If you know you are going to be late, do something about it!
This is the most important rule, and by far the most effective. As soon as you think you aren't going to make your appointment on time, let the person know immediately. Over the last ten years, nobody has ever been upset at me when I called ahead and informed them I was runnning behind. Most of the time the person was very amicable, "You're gonna be late, no problem ... I need a few more minutes anyway ... thanks for letting me know!" When you know you are going to be late, call at least 30 minutes ahead of time.
How many times have you been headed to any appointment and thought to yourself, "oh no - I'm going to be late." In an attempt to make it on time, you become a lead foot and speed through a number of yellow/red lights. In order to avoid this, think about the drive ahead, well in advance of when you should leave.
- Is there going to be traffic?
- Any construction along your route?
- Are there going to be weather issues?
Plan your meetings when traffic won't be a concern. If you plan accordingly, you can eliminate some of the challenges of getting to your meeting on time.
Be on time, neither too early or late
I'm a firm believer in being on time. Too early is just as frustrating as late. One colleague of mine would show up to meetings 15-20 minutes early. When I was running 5 minutes late, he'd complain that he had been waiting for 25 minutes. In a different, but all to common scenario, job interviewees are notorious for being way too early. Yes, show up to a job interview a few minutes early, but not 20-30 minutes early. Make sure you are at your meeting location, plus or minus five minutes of your scheduled time.
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