Punctuality In Business

vs. tardiness

Showing respect for others by doing the right thing at the right time

To practice Punctuality I will:

  • think of the impact my tardiness has on others
  • prepare for unexpected delays
  • do my work ahead of time
  • plan a daily schedule and stick to it
  • not fall into the trap of “just one more”

“The Next Right Thing”
-Jill Tomey

If you read our definition of Punctuality, “Doing the right thing at the right time” you probably would not associate it to Punctuality. Our explanation of the definition tells us that being late didn’t start when you couldn’t find your backpack or car keys; but rather when you put your keys on your desk instead of the hook by the door because you were thinking about the 17 things you needed to get done as soon as you got home. Doing the right thing can refer to doing the moral thing but more often it refers to doing the right thing at that moment. Knowing what the next right thing is takes strategy.

Time management classes teach us the difference between what is important and what is critical. Critical tasks are squeakier wheels and often get more attention than important tasks. But what if we looked at our to-do list and assigned each activity to the personal, department, or company goal they help us achieve. Perhaps the next right thing is related to your most important goal.

Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. Your frog is your worst task, and you should do it first thing in the morning. Brian Tracey has taught us all about eating frogs in his book Eat That Frog. He explains that the worst does not mean the hardest but the one that is the most important that will have the greatest impact. Perhaps the next right thing is eating a frog.

What if you do make your first frog of the morning your worst task, the one with which you are least comfortable? Getting a checkmark for that activity first thing can provide a surge of energy so that many checkmarks for other important tasks follow. Over time, the worst task may not seem that bad as you begin to stretch your skills and your comfort zone thereby accomplishing more things at the right time. Perhaps the next right thing is the worst thing on your list.

This month, keep your goals in mind and do the next right thing.