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Why Punctuality is Important

Why Punctuality is Important

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Published by HumpyCreature

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Published by: HumpyCreature on Jan 14, 2010
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Why is punctuality such a good thing?
Being on time:

• • • • • • •

gets your day off to a good start and puts you in a positive frame of mind, so that you can make the most of your learning opportunities (school will be all over for you sooner than you might think…); sets positive patterns for the future. You can't expect to keep a job if you're always coming in late; leads to a good attendance record and means you don’t miss any morning notices; leads to better achievement because you attend the WHOLE of all of your classes; leads to understanding that school is important and education is valuable; helps you develop a sense of responsibility for yourself and towards others and is a sign of good character; is respectful to your teacher and to your classmates and builds good habits for later in life when your employer pays you to be on time; is very important indeed. Research shows that attendance and punctuality are the single most important factors in school success.

Why is lateness such a bad thing?
Being late:
• • • • • • • •

gets your day off to a bad start; will be noticed by other children who might make negative comments and poke fun at you; may lead to you feeling confused all day! You may have missed out on vital instructions, information and bits of news at the start of the day; disrupts the lesson for everyone - it is extremely selfish and rude; can cause you to fall behind with your work because you don’t properly know what you should do; creates a bad habit that can be hard to break in the workplace and lead to being fired; can lead to poor attendance - if you think it is okay to be late for school you may start to think it is okay not to go to school at all; leads to detentions every Friday when you should be going home and starting to enjoy the weekend!

Here are some things that may help to get you to school on time:
• • • • • •

aiming to always be at school 15 minutes before the start of the school day (aim for 7.40am). That way if traffic is bad you can still get to school on time; making sure you have everything ready the night before e.g. PE kit, books, school uniform, etc; making sure you allow plenty of time for the journey to school (traffic varies from day to day); making sure you do homework the night before, not at the breakfast table! ensuring that you always get a good night’s sleep and therefore awake rested the next morning establishing a good bedtime routine - this pays dividends! Even simple things like making sure the room is dark enough to enable you to sleep well can make mornings easier and less of a struggle.

• •

making sure you are not prevented from sleeping by distractions - TV, computer, Playstation, etc. Have a fixed time at which they go off - every school day; buying an alarm clock - not relying on your battery powered mobile phone!

Now, turn over and copy out the short essay on punctuality - Enjoy!

Punctuality and Life!
In my experience the issue of punctuality divides people into three groups: Those who are never punctual, those who are always punctual, and those who are situationally punctual. People who are never on time are sometimes mislabelled inconsiderate. Careful observation will show that in reality these people suffer from a common ailment called time-impairment. They’re on a different clock. Or, they’re not on a clock at all. I have been told that this is a latitudinal, not attitudinal, issue. On this theory, some cultures, typically those in the southern latitudes of any land mass, orient to relationships, transactions, and experiences -- not time -- as the markers of when meetings and activities begin and end. Those with this orientation eventually meet their commitments, in a fashion, but may find themselves labelled by family, friends, and co-workers as selfish, rude, developmentally delayed -- or worse -- in need of time management training. Those who are always punctual appear to epitomize consideration and respect for others but actually suffer from a benign, though degenerative, form of a heretofore unnamed obsessive compulsive disorder that for discussion purposes we’ll call OCD-P. Folks in this group typically progress over their lives from punctuality to hyper-punctuality (earliness or OCD-HP), and in some cases to a rare and exotic form of the disorder in which they actually arrive early multiple times for the same appointment. When these multiple early arrivals begin in prior calendar days, these afflicted souls progress into a diagnosis we are tentatively calling ‘Bench Syndrome’ which is named for the over-eager athlete who continually pesters the coach with ‘Now coach? Now?’ We’re not naming any names here, but you know who you are. Those who are situationally punctual are in some ways the most interesting of our three groups. They do not suffer from a readily apparent compulsion or impairment. We believe we can attribute intention to these colleagues, bosses, and friends. They understand time. They even know what time it is. They appear to make choices about where to be and when. When these individuals are late for your meeting, it is because they thought something else was more important. They bruise our feelings, but in some ways we admire them. They’re savvy. They appear to be calculating power relationships and priorities in real-time and dynamically adjusting their calendars and locations based on the situation at-hand, not some silly commitments and expectations that are set weeks in advance and on which sometimes dozens of others depend to get their work done. Not that I’m bitter. Now that we have our punctuality cohorts laid out, we can apply this model to our everyday experience. First of all, the impact of being in relationships with people from these groups varies depending on what we call in business, ‘level.’ Do they work for you, are they peers, or are they higher in the organization? Because we have three groups (one of which you’re in and one of which the other people are in) and three potential relationships (higher, same, lower), this becomes a three-dimensional model that would cherry-pick some examples to get you on your way. Clearly, when someone who is time-impaired works for you it’s maddening. They’re never where they’re supposed to be, and as their manager you’re responsible! You find yourself sitting like a dunce for the weekly supervision meeting while they’re lost in time. You wonder if they’re living a better life, not caught up in the trivialities of being at a particular place at a particular time. But then when it comes time to map the succession plans in the organization it’s clear that time-orientation is a pretty big criterion for upward mobility. No show, no promotion! If you’re always on time and you work for someone who is situationally punctual you’ve got a problem. You feel disrespected on a regular basis, your staff meetings run over, meeting rooms are tied up, lunches are delayed, and presenters to his/her holiness are stacked up outside the door like planes over Bangkok at rush hour. When the lucky presenters are finally called in, 30 minutes late, you profusely thank them for their patience and you apologize, knowing that your boss will offer an at-best weak acknowledgement that harm had been done. Argh… When you and your colleagues are OCD-P (or OCD-HP) you’re really cruising. You can plan your day to the minute. You can seamlessly move through the day, spreading your knowledge and insight throughout the organization. You don’t have to stop and re-start meetings as stragglers arrive. You’re getting it done.

Some things to think about as you apply this model. When you figure out that your friends are inviting you to dinner an hour earlier or later than everyone else, how should you take this? Without question, you should take this as an act of love and acceptance. Worry when you don’t get invited at all. A note of caution: Do not cross-check with friends on what time to arrive at dinner. This could introduce dissonance into the time/friendship continuum and mess everything up. There’s really nothing worse than dry chicken. Plus, you have to pretend it’s not dry. Don’t go there. We hope this discussion has been helpful. I trust we’ve laid the groundwork for a period of enlightened debate and research around time-based disabilities. It’s been a long, dark period since Einstein convinced everyone that time is relative.

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