Paulelmo's Blog

The value of being punctual

Occasionally we’ll hear someone talk about a person being punctual, and someone will comment that it says something good about a person. Well, I’m a punctual person, but what it says about me is not my main consideration.

I think it was earlier, when I wasn’t a punctual person and when I was becoming one. What I expected punctuality would say about me was probably high on my priority list back in those days.

Nowadays, now that I am a punctual person, it doesn’t matter as much to me what that makes people think of me; I’m too caught up in what it does for me and what I think about myself.

I’m going to make a statement that probably should be accompanied by scientific data. I have no such data, but I think data so collected would bear me out. I think punctual people have less stress in their lives. It might just be me–and I hope you’ll tell me if it is–but I know that I have much less stress in my life when I’m on time.

I don’t have to be remarkably ahead of schedule. I’ve heard people say that “on time” for a certain person is “ten minutes early.” That is not me. Yes, on time is usually a bit early, but I don’t have any set time I’d like to be somewhere other than the appointed time.

When I’m on time, I’m ready. When I’m on time, I have time to breathe and set my vision on a whole situation before I have to act upon any one part. Being a bartender, a job that has constantly shifting parts and decisions to make, this comes in handy.

A man named Roger Kirkland gave me the best business advice I ever got, but it’s not just advice I use at the bar or with our family’s finances, but advice I use in every aspect of life. Roger was my boss, and he told me he got the advice from Sam Smith, who was his boss. He said he asked Mr. Smith why he had succeeded when other men, some who were smarter and/or more talented even, had  failed. Mr. Smith said the reason was that he saw what he was looking at. Roger told me that had then become his primary goal as a business manager. It then became my primary goal, and it has remained so since that day, which was in late January of 1990.

I always attempt to see what I’m looking at. Being on time is a great aid in maintaining this focus. If I’m early, I have more time and am more relaxed to let my mind process what my eyes see. That is just one of the ways I’m more successful because I’m punctual.

The most important way that being punctual helps me be more successful is that I’m just better when I’m on time. I’m better at everything when I’m on time. I’m more relaxed and sure-handed and thoughtful and considering, when I’m on time. Now, I don’t know how it is where you work, but I work at a bar that is usually busy, doing a job that is always busy, and those attributes are priceless. That’s not just for me, but also for the clientele. We’ve all been somewhere where the person in charge of seeing to our needs is uncomfortably overwhelmed, and we know it’s not a pleasant situation to be in. It pleases me to know my guests have less of a chance of experiencing that than they did in the past.

In light of these statements, it should be no surprise that I’m simply a healthier person when I’m consistently on time. Life is just that much easier; I can’t think of living the other way. I see the folks who are always behind, and they almost always have so much stress in their lives. Being late can make the most mundane of things seem bigger than they are because you don’t have time for them. Getting caught by a train is just a normal happenstance of life in some places where people live and commute, so it shouldn’t be any great deal or terrible happenstance; rather, it should be just something that sometimes happened, which happened to happen today.

In the life of the habitually tardy, innocuous occurrences like this become something more malevolent than they actually are, which is not at all. We all have a certain amount of vile and bile in our lives, it’s just part of the human condition, and treating everyday occurrences as if they are more negative than they actually are–which, again, is not at all–just adds to that. The end result is more stress, which, when you hear someone complaining about something that really isn’t worth it, you realize isn’t always so silent of a killer.

If there is any one habit that I have that I would suggest to those who don’t, it is this. If you are one of those people who are constantly tardy, I dare you to run on time for six months. Don’t start worrying right now about how you would ever do it; rather, just decide that you’re going to do it and do it.

Then, come back here in mid-May and tell me how much better your life is, how my less stress you have and how much healthier that makes you. My gosh, but tell me how much more time you have on your hands now that you’re the manager of your time, rather than the other way around. You do that, and I’ll say you’re welcome.

Much love, beauties. I’ll see you here soon. Don’t be late.

2 Replies to “The value of being punctual”

  1. Well, I would believe that it makes you healthier to be punctual (and you certainly lay some foundation as to why that is), but as someone who does regularly arrive where I need to be on time, I wouldn’t know.

    I do have a question: would you throw in procrastinating your work (such as homework) as part of being punctual (or rather, not punctual in this case)? If you do, then I would say I’m half and half. If you need me to be somewhere at a specified time, boy howdy, I’ll be there. However, if you also need me to have finished some work for you before I get there, you’d best believe I’d be working on it on the way to the destination or right before I leave.

    And yes, procrastination does make my life more stressful when deadlines approach. I guess I do it so I can get more motivated. That’s something I need to work on.

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