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On Tardiness and Honoring Commitments: What We Really Lose

Frequent tardiness or coming up late in agreed-upon meetings is a clear sign of poor time management. There’s more to it than just missed schedule. It costs us not just wasted time.

I have this friend who frequently comes late to our scheduled meetings. Being a friend to him since high school, I really don’t mind him being a notorious latecomer. Perhaps it’s because I use the time waiting to read a book. I always have a book with me – whether physical or digital, so I don’t mind. 

But that’s just me. Also, because he’s my best friend. Another thing, I’ve learned how to allot more time to his frequent tardiness and I do other stuff to maximize my waiting. Not to tolerate his behavior, but I’ve realized that some things are not worth stressing yourself with. 

But most people I know think of latecomers as disrespectful, which I agree with. Time is valuable and comes with a cost. When you cause someone to spend his precious time waiting for you instead of doing more important stuff, you are being inconsiderate. Just ask any busy person. Waste his time and you’ll never get a chance with him or her again.

Tardiness is a reflection of one’s poor time management. It tells about how a person handles a valuable resource at his disposal. We’re all given the same 24 hours, no matter our educational background or social status. How we spend it determines where we might be in the future. If we’re not careful with our time management, we might suffer the following consequences:

Frequent tardiness will cost us people’s trust

Coming late to agreed-upon meetings frequently is disrespectful. No one wants disrespect. People will no longer believe your promises, and they will no longer buy into your claims. No matter how skillful you are or charismatic you can be, when you disrespect others’ times, people will lose interest in you. 

I remember a certain Filipino comedy actor known as a notorious latecomer. He’s very talented and has a lot to offer. Sadly, because of his work ethic, he lost the trust of all the management he’s worked with. What a waste.

Tardiness tarnishes your personality

Imagine being known as being notoriously late than on the quality of your output. Though it can still be redeemed with a lifestyle change, still the moniker remains. If you don’t want such a moniker, start leveling up your time management skills! Folks, I assure you, it is doable!

With frequent tardiness, you waste opportunities 

When you come up late for a morning meeting, the first thing you miss will be the free breakfast, if there’s any. Sayang! But more than those perks, what you miss are: 

  • the opportunity to make an impression
  • the opportunity to maximize your idea contribution
  • the opportunity to arrive at the meeting composed and professional
  • the opportunity to present your ideas, in case you’re a presenter, in a relaxed and unrushed manner

They say opportunities come only once. So grab it while it’s available because you might never get the chance again! That is if you’re already around to do some grabbing. What if the opportunity you’ve been praying for is already within reach, but since you’re still snoring or you are too preoccupied to honor a commitment, that answered prayer never landed on your lap. Sad, right?

Effective time management involves honoring our commitments by arriving on time for our agreed-upon meetings and schedules. Professionalism is not just about what we can contribute to the table. It also involves our character and work ethic. When we are pleasant to work with, people will entrust us with more. As the Scriptures say, whoever can be trusted with small things, can also be trusted with much. But if you can’t be trusted with the meager you have, who will entrust you with much?

So let’s honor our time, and the time of others. 

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