Thought Tuesday

Adulting 101 – Real Adults are on Time

I am finding that many do not value punctuality. I find that we fail to see that punctuality is related to discipline and self mastery, to integrity and respect. Punctuality is a character trait real adults develop.

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Real adults are on time!

William Makepeace Thayer stated, “The habit of being prompt once formed extends to everything – meeting friends, paying debts, going to church, reaching and leaving place of business, keeping promises, retiring at night and rising in the morning, going to lecture and town meetings, and, indeed, to every relation and act, however trivial it may see to observers.” (Tact and Grit, 1882)

I get that being on time varies between cultures. Some cultures are more laid back, the Pacific Islands for example. Life moves at a different pace and the lines of “on time” can be a bit blurry. However, I live in a culture that defines being on time as a thing of value.

Real adults are on time!

Being on time strengthens and reveals your personal integrity. hen you say you will be somewhere at a certain time you are essentially making a promise. When you arrive late you are breaking that promise. Arriving on time demonstrates to others that YOU are in control of your own world.


Being on time shows that you are dependable. People will know that they can rely on you. When you are always late meeting deadlines or arriving at a destination others will learn that they can not count on you. They will believe that you are not capable of organizing your time. “If he is careless about time management, what else is he careless about?”

I heard that Ben Franklin once told an employee who was full of excuses, “I have generally found that the man who is good at an excuse is good for nothing else.”

Is that really the message you want to send to other people?

Being on time builds your self-confidence. Showing up on time, getting assignments done on time, meeting deadlines in a timely manner, teaches you that you are dependable. You can depend on yourself. The more you gain self-mastery, the less you will be at the mercy of whims, compulsions, and habits. Chaos will cease to reign in your life.

A punctual person proves that they can organize their time, pay attention to details, and can put aside one thing to focus on another. Being punctual proves that you are able to set aside pleasure to care of business.

A real adult is on punctual!

Being on time shows that you are humble. If you adopt the motto, “Always late but worth the wait” you are demonstrating that you believe that you are more important that the people you leave waiting for you. Being late is actually selfish! That extra minute you are taking for yourself is taking away a minute from the person waiting on you… whether it is a school project, a job, an appointment, or even arriving at church on time. This is why I think being late is a form of stealing. When you make others wait for you, you rob them of minutes or opportunities they can not get back. Meeting you or working with you has required others to make sacrifices – getting up early, cutting short their workout, family time, other work they could have been focusing on – and your tardiness in your responsibilities negates those sacrifice. Dude! NOT OKAY!


Being on time show that you value time… a very limited resource.

Real adults are on time!

Here area couple of other thoughts about why it is so important to be punctual: Being late disrupts the experiences of others. Being late strains relationships. Being late hurts professional careers.

You really can not blame your busyness for you being late to appointments or late on assignments. The busiest people I know re the most punctual people I know.

Real adults are on time!  Own it! Don’t rationalize away tardiness. Own it!  Making being on time a matter of integrity… a way to keep your promises, to be a person of their word. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Is your lack of timeliness inconveniencing them?

Work on your person power of concentration. Work on staying on task. Build your mental discipline. Make a plan and stick with your plan.

Shoot to be early. Arrive 15 minutes early. Finish that assignment 3 day early. I love that old expression, “if you are on time, you are late.”

WRITE THINGS DOWN! Use a planner. Use that phone as a planner not a game console. Use the time. I use it all the time to stay on track.

Real adults are punctual!


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