Leap Year Lesson #24: Better Early Than Late

Posted: January 24, 2012 in Time Management
Tags: ,

I hate being late for anything, especially something that has been on my calendar for a while. In the absence of physical or mechanical barriers that cause a significant last-minute delay, there is really no excuse for being late.

It happened to me today, though, and I got very frustrated. I was scheduled to attend the first of a series of online professional training sessions. I had preregistered. It was on my calendar. I was careful not to schedule anything immediately before it that might interfere. I thought all was well.

About 15 minutes prior to the event, rather than find the login instructions and start the process, I tried to squeeze in just one or two more quick tasks. Then a coworker and I started chatting. Next thing I know it’s three minutes until the webinar and I start scrambling.

Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem. I’d find the info, follow instructions and be on time. Not today. Instead, I opened the appointment on my calendar and the details were blank. I started searching frantically to find the instructions. Nothing. I hurriedly sent instant messages and emails to three people who might be able to help. By the time I got the info and logged in, I had missed the first 20 minutes of a 60-minute session.

I hate that. I was mad at myself.

As I think about what to do differently next time, I realize I did some things correctly and others poorly. What I did correctly was to know my schedule and not book too many things back to back that might interfere. What I did poorly was to fail to verify needed information ahead of time, plus I tried to squeeze in last-minute things. I allowed no room for error and that’s what did me in.

Fortunately, the webinar was recorded and I’ll be able to watch what I missed, but you can’t count on do-overs.

You’ve heard the saying “better late than never.” That’s a bad saying. It justifies being late. Instead, we need to be early to things and avoid the potential frustration that being late causes us as well as others.

Leap year lesson #24 is “Better early than late.”

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