When I teach my course the first thing we talk about is getting honest about how long it takes to do things. Like, REALLY honest. Timing ourselves. The real deal. We talk about the, “I’ll be there in five minutes,” line that we often get from someone who is texting from the shower or the, “call you back in five,” from someone who just got onto a conference call.
Then we think about the situations when we’ve been that person. For some of us, it happens more often than we’d like. But that’s why we’re here. Because we truly care. We know that being on time isn’t just for weddings or picking up the kids from school. It’s for all of life’s events, large and small. It’s a sign of respect to everyone around you, and especially to yourself.
But being on time isn’t just about the minutes. It’s about all the little minutes, leading up to the minutes before an appointment. It takes prepping the evening before, reviewing the schedule ahead of time, getting prepared on the weekends, budgeting time and money.
In fact, being on time for something today starts well before the sun even comes up. It may start yesterday or even last week. The choice of when to wrap up your day for sleep the day before a commitment, or maybe even sooner than that, when you weigh your priorities and decide whether you have time to food shop or go to the gym and still be in bed when you want to be. Deciding whether you will surf Facebook to “wake yourself up” the morning of your commitment, whether your clothes were chosen the night before or not, and whether you make your coffee or buy it. So many things go into being ready, and almost none of them occur in the fifteen minutes prior to an appointment (no matter what your default calendar reminders would have you believe).
Being on time is about having taken each and every step necessary BEFORE the minutes leading up to an appointment to truly be there. It’s about really showing up because every single thing you’ve done up until that point has pointed you towards your success in accomplishing that goal.
Wow. Yeah. If that’s our benchmark, then we can all think of a zillion examples when we weren’t on time at all. There have been times when I’m “on time” but totally unprepared. I don’t have any of my notes. I didn’t read ahead of time. I have no lunch. I didn’t eat breakfast. I am not dressed appropriately or I’m just plain exhausted.
But what we learn together here is how to identify all the little things that contribute to being on time, to be mindful of them, and then discover lots of clever tricks for making everything work in our favor.
So, physically walking in on time is part of it – but as it turns out, it’s actually a really small part of it!
And by the way, what does being on time actually feel like? It feels FANTASTIC!! It feels like I’m ready. It feels like I got this. If feels like I’m not mentally someplace else, I’m freaking here right now! I am focused. I am prepared. I am comfortable. For me, it’s my agenda in hand, my water bottle is full, my snacks are ready, and I’m fortified with the right essential oils to handle the emotional ride ahead.
So the question is how much time does it actually take to be on time? Stick with me, girl, you shall find out!
Originally published at stacymccormack.com