On Time vs. Timely

Everyone has a different relationship with time. For some, it’s an absolute and for others, it’s more of a guideline. And in many cases, it can be very dependent on who else is involved, or may be different between personal and professional lives. I’ve been thinking about time lately and how my approach to time shapes my brand. When it comes to work, I have a very strict approach that has developed over the years: I am not just on time – I am timely. This means more than being on time for meetings (which is important!). Being timely means I meet deadlines, early if possible. I respond as quickly as I can because I know someone is waiting on me. I try to respect other people’s time by given them enough notice for things rather than dropping in at the last minute. I only accept meetings I plan to attend. I try to avoid cancelling at the last minute at all costs. These are all things I take seriously because they are part of my reputation. There are lots of things people could say about me, but I don’t ever want one of them to be that you can’t count on me to be responsive.

I had a staff member tell me once that being on time was “my thing.” That was curious to me because I hadn’t ever considered it my thing. I had always considered my relationship to be driven by the situation. In this case, we had published hours of operation and people could show up at any time during those hours, so yeah, being on time was important for all of us – not just me and “my thing.” And being on time meant being there 15 minutes before we officially opened so we were ready for guests right when we said we would be, even if most often, our guests wandered in later.

Time is a funny thing in the fact that we’ve managed to all get on the same page about the 24 hour day, but past that, it all seems relative. What’s your relationship with time?

 

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