Why You Should Never Be Late
I’m not a morning person. I never have been and probably never will be. So, when my alarm goes off at an ungodly hour every day, the struggle is real. I hit snooze more times than I care to admit, and before I know it, I’m running late… again.
If this sounds like you, congratulations! You’re part of a growing club of chronically tardy people.
Most (sane) people don’t set out to be late. But sometimes, life just happens. Maybe you hit traffic on the way to work or your kids refuse to put on their shoes before leaving for school.
There are a gazillion reasons why you might be late, but here’s the thing: none of them are good enough to justify the consequences. What are those, you ask?
11 reasons why you shouldn’t be late
1. It’s disrespectful
When you’re late, you’re essentially telling the other person that your time is more important than theirs. Sure, things happen and sometimes we can’t avoid being tardy, but if it becomes a habit, it’s downright rude.
2. You miss out on opportunities
If you’re always running behind schedule, chances are you’ll miss out on some pretty cool stuff. Maybe it’s a networking event or a job interview.
Whatever it is, if you show up late (or not at all), you’re potentially missing out on something that could change your life.
3. It creates unnecessary stress
Being late is stressful, plain and simple. You’re rushing around trying to get ready, you’re worried about what the other person will think, and you might even be anxious about getting in trouble if it’s work-related.
All of this can lead to increased cortisol levels (the stress hormone), which can have a negative impact on your health over time.
4. It damages your reputation
If being tardy becomes a habit, people will start to notice. And they won’t be impressed. Whether it’s a friend, colleague or boss, people will start to see you as unreliable. This can have long-lasting consequences and could even impact your future job prospects.
5. It can cost you money
Being late can literally cost you money. If you’re late for an appointment or meeting, the other person might charge you a fee or even refuse to work with you altogether.
There are also some companies and employers that will dock your pay or penalize you for being late. If this happens on a regular basis, it can add up to a significant amount of money over time.
6. It’s unprofessional
Being punctual is part of being professional. When you’re constantly running behind schedule, it sends the message that you don’t take your commitments seriously and that you lack respect for other people’s time.
This is not the kind of impression you want to make in any aspect of your life, whether it be personal or professional.
7. It can impact your mood (and everyone else’s)
When you’re always rushing around trying to make up for lost time, you’re naturally going to be stressed and probably exhausted. This is bound to make you irritable.
And an irritable person is not a fun person to be around. Your mood can impact your interactions with others, and if you’re constantly late, it’s likely that you’ll end up snapping at someone sooner or later.
8. You’ll miss once-in-a-lifetime experiences
Life is full of surprises, and some of them are truly amazing. But if you’re always running late, you might miss out on those once-in-a-lifetime moments that can’t be replicated.
Maybe it’s a surprise party for your best friend or a concert with your favorite band. Whatever it is, being tardy could mean missing the event entirely or arriving too late to fully enjoy it.
9. You could ruin other people’s plans
When you’re late, it doesn’t just affect you. It can impact other people’s plans too. If you’re meeting someone for lunch and show up 30 minutes late, they might have to leave early because of another commitment.
Or if you’re part of a team project at work and you’re constantly behind schedule, your colleagues will be forced to pick up the slack or make adjustments to accommodate your tardiness.
10. You’re more likely to make mistakes
A flustered, rushed mind is more prone to making mistakes. When you’re constantly running late and trying to catch up, it’s easy to forget important details or overlook something crucial.
This is especially true in a work environment where deadlines are tight and accuracy is key.
11. It sets a bad example
What if everyone was as late as you? Chaos would ensue. When you’re constantly tardy, it sets a bad example for those around you. If your kids see you running behind schedule all the time, it’s bound to rub off on them in later life.
Or, if your colleagues see that being punctual isn’t important to you, they might follow suit. And before you know it, everyone’s showing up 30 minutes late for meetings and appointments, and nothing gets done.
I’m going to be real here: tardiness says A LOT about a person, and what it says ain’t good! It’s time to start taking punctuality seriously. Being on time shows respect for others, professionalism and reliability. It can even make your life less stressful.
Plan ahead, set multiple alarms or even enlist the help of a friend to keep you accountable, if you have to.
Being punctual is a habit, and like all habits, it takes time and effort to develop. But trust me when I say that it’s worth it, and that it’s better to be 1 hour early than to be even 1 minute late. Because that seemingly insignificant minute could mean you miss your train, your flight, the birth of your child, etc.