Always On Time: Why Seconds and Minutes Matter, So Don’t Waste Them

Always On Time: Why Seconds and Minutes Matter, So Don’t Waste Them

‘Time is precious.’

My mother taught me the value of time from the age of four.

I was disciplined enough to know that being late is never okay so I made sure that I always made it to school really early. She taught me the importance of being organised and most of all she taught me how to manage my time well. Believe it or not, for the first 9 years of my education where I attended private Catholic schools with very strict rules- flag ceremonies, mass service and registration starting at 7.15 AM,  I needed to wake up at 4.30 AM everyday to make sure I had enough time to get ready and make my way there; leaving my house at 6-6.30 AM at the latest to avoid heavy rush hour traffic jams in the morning. Even up until now, the discipline instilled in me remains and I’m always early. I never rush around panicking when getting ready for anything I do because I don’t like bad starts to my day (my mood for the rest of the day suffers when I’m rushed) and when we’re rushing, that’s when mishaps happen so I always make sure I have enough time to prepare for anything.



Time is precious to all of us and I really believe that time is gold. It’s disrespectful and rude when people don’t make it to confirmed arrangements or even worse, fail to turn up to them. All of us who work for a living know that we get paid for our time and service so why let other people waste your time even when you’re not at work? If you think about it, say you get paid £30 an hour at your job, every hour of yours someone chooses to waste is costing you £30 and I doubt they will offer to give you £30 for the time you’ve just lost because they decided to disrespect your time by making you wait.

If you’re late and make the excuse saying, ‘Well, I was too busy and overloaded with stuff to do that’s why I couldn’t make it. ‘

Well… I have a question for you too…

‘Have you ever thought about the busy lives they lead too and the other things they could have done instead of waiting for you?’ 

Medical and dental clinics now charge for missed appointments. If you’re late to your job interview, you might as well not turn up because you’re more than likely not to get the job unless you’re as lucky as Chris Gardner from the film the Pursuit of Happiness. If you’re late at work or at school, you get penalised for them. I know that in elementary school, It didn’t matter if we were the smartest kid in class, if you failed to get inside the gates by 7.15, you’ll be refused entry and get a strike on your report card.

If you have legitimate reasons for being late due to unforeseen circumstances, then those are exceptions. If you give plenty of notice and have the courtesy and courage to own up to it and cancel the planned meeting then that makes the cancellation or lateness acceptable and understandable. Life is unpredictable after all so unexpected things happen but if you’re known as that person who is frequently late and you let the same people down, then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your scheduling and see where you’re going wrong.




It is always best to honour other people’s time because they will honour yours in return. When you’re late, you’re letting the people you let down know that you think your time is more precious than theirs. What’s worse is that if you are constantly late, you will be known as ‘that person who never makes it on time’.

I feel like this needs to be addressed because we are often too afraid to let someone know that we feel let down by something some people may consider as insignificant. I believe that lateness is not insignificant at all. Lateness shows a lack of regard for other people’s schedule. Lateness shows that you don’t care, lack the motivation, respect and discipline to make it anywhere. Being on time however, shows someone that you value their time and company. It shows that you appreciate the time and effort they have put it to meet and work with you. If someone has made an effort to wake up 30 minutes early or book a table at a restaurant for a specific time and date, make sure that you return the favour by at least making it on time.



I know how important time is for me. I had one hour to spare once and I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to finish mixing a track in the studio in one hour. I was sure that nothing good will come out of my attempt to mix the track in 60 minutes but I did and it was one of the best mixes I have ever done. This goes to show that a lot can happen in a few seconds or minutes so don’t waste other people’s time because you will never know what they have sacrificed just to meet with you.

There was also one time when I didn’t think that I would be able to finish a task within 15 minutes. I was contemplating putting off the task until the next morning but I carried on and pushed through anyway. The Gods of Time must have been on my side that day because I finished the task within 10 minutes.

You can really make the most of your time if you really tried. A great workout can be done in 60 minutes. Instead of wasting it sitting around and checking out your social media feed, think about how many calories you can burn in that time.



Make sure you do try and find the balance when it comes to scheduling things as arriving too early can be seen as rude too. If you’re unsure as to what ‘too early’ means, I guess it depends on the occasion or meeting. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask what time it’s okay to arrive. I always think that 15 minutes is a safe bet. Some people and companies actually regard as ‘being on time’ as ‘late’ already so always ask if you’re unsure.



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