Punctuality– 1.) The fact or quality to be on time.

At the beginning of a new school year, students enter the classroom eager to get started. Fresh haircuts, new clothes, 10 minutes early to class to chat with friends about the highlights of their summers. But let’s face it…

It is a LONG year. We sometimes stay up too late. We have a mountain of work that needs to be tended to. It becomes more enticing to roll in on two wheels. Some students stay away from the place until it is the absolute final minute before another day of the grind begins.

Some don’t even arrive in the final minute before the tardy bell. They are 10 minutes late. The student might miss half the class or never come to class, period. That fresh haircut becomes bed head. The new t-shirt is now faded. That chipper tone is now a sorrowful sigh for being forced to show up.

This student is digging a hole that will be difficult to overcome if tardy slips and absences accumulate. Not only is the person late, but so are major assignments and other obligations. Eventually, the principal calls and says “Send Johnny to the office. I need to talk to him.”

The same can also be said in the professional world. Many employees fall victim to this. Some of the same late students also become late employees. Really it comes down to the idea of being on time or punctual in the three big areas I discussed in my previous blog post entitled Participation: How Broad is Your Scope?

Professional Punctuality

A man I greatly respect always said…

“Get to work 15 minutes early. If you are 10 minutes late getting your things together, then you are still 5 minutes early.”

This has always been what I try to remember in regard to punctuality for my professional life. If things get crazy, and they surely will, punctuality provides a buffer to help maintain sanity. That is not to say those people who aren’t early have a hard time, but for some, that level of “calm” takes a little longer to achieve.

Arrive in a timely manner. Be present more than absent.

Personal Punctuality

How can we be “on time” as people? Well, this type of punctuality is much different. We must be on time with our compliments and kind words. We need to approach today understanding that there are people who are starving for kindness. Some people have had too many consecutive days of being beaten down. A simple smile and acknowledgement that a person matters could completely put someone’s mental psyche back in the right direction.

School shootings are on the rise. There is much discussion about measures we can take to prevent more from happening.

More security.

Arm teachers.

Run. Hide. Fight. Protocol

While these are all great, how about we add to the list? Spread goodness. Adults and kids both need it. Maybe we can include someone different in our usual group activities? Talk to someone different than a usual circle of friends. Ask someone how he/she is doing. Be generous with compliments. You may be surprised just how “on time” you might be with such thoughtfulness and kind gestures. Do this sooner than later!

Physical Punctuality

This type of punctuality is simple.

  1. Raise your heart rate and then bring it back down as many times as possible for at least 30 minutes. A person will feel better because of it. A jolt to one’s body is “on time” each day we do it. We must designate time for ourselves.
  2. Break a sweat. This goes hand in hand with a high heart. If we are not perspiring, our heart rate isn’t where it needs to be. This doesn’t mean we have to feel like we might die or become so miserable that there is dread for the next exercise session. A good sweat is always on time. When a person might be nodding off to sleep at 3:00 in the afternoon, breaking a sweat releases newfound energy.
  3. The last type of physical punctuality is to be on time with encouragement for others to do the first two I just mentioned. It is amazing how many people avoid exercise because they are intimidated to do it alone. Be on time with your openness to invite someone along for a walk, run, or exercise session. A cordial invite may change someone’s physical and social life.

In conclusion, punctuality takes many different forms in our professional, personal, and physical lives. Always be mindful and on time with these aspects and you nor anyone else will feel left behind. Efforts to achieve all three, or at least get close, will lead to a more positive and fulfilling life.