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Verbal Dexterity: Talking the Talk » Blog Archive » Minutes To Go Before I Meet

Minutes To Go Before I Meet

Why are you always running late?

Lateness is the easiest way to kill your business reputation.

The sad part is, you don’t even know it.


Here’s what happens when you are late to a meeting (or on a project):

  1. People talk about you in a negative way (but note: it’s not really behind your back, as you are not even in the room).
  2. Those around you assume that you are overwhelmed by your current workload.
  3. You can lose the client’s respect and future business.
  4. Your competition now has an opening to walk in (and over you).
  5. You are unintentionally implying that you had something more important to do.

So, how can you avoid being late?

  1. Buy a good wristwatch with an alarm and set it to go off in advance of your next meeting.
  2. Have all of your papers and summaries ready, well in advance (avoid that crazed “where did I put that file?” moment).
  3. Partner with a colleague to watch each other’s backs.
  4. Change your usual methodology: work harder, later and arrive earlier.
  5. End this meeting on time or else you will be late for the next one (and try not to schedule meetings back to back).

Common sense?   Sure.  Just not so easy to apply.

My goodness, look at the time.  Have to run to a meeting.

Hmmm.   I wonder who will take the “minutes?”

Today’s Tip: Schedule some unscheduled time into your workday to cover extended meetings and unexpected developments, emergencies and delays.  It will help you finish the day “on time.”

3 Responses to “Minutes To Go Before I Meet”

  1. Eric Gelb, The Revenue Miner Says:

    I find your blogposts to be VERY valuable and insightful and your witty style is refreshing and particularly enjoyed this one.
    In the last year or so, I actually changed the way I maintain my calendar (I actually still use an old-fashioned book: Day Minder, At-A-Glance). There’s a single page for each weekday: Monday through Friday; Saturday and Sunday appear on one page. Each weekday page has 4 columns. I schedule set (fixed) appointments in the left-most column and tentative (waiting for confirmation) in the next column. The other two columns are for notes, tasks, etc. Sometimes I note travel and other tax deductible items for future reference.
    I began adding hard stops to allow for travel time so I get to a meeting on time. For example, suppose I have a meeting at 3 pm and it takes 30 minutes to drive there. I Must leave my office No Later than 230, but under the new diary system, I actually block out the time beginning at 215. This way, I have 15 minutes extra time to clean up, pack up and Get Out the Door.

    I also circle the start and stop times, including for the tentative activities. This reminds me not to jam myself up so much.

    Another technique I’ve implemented is better setting priorities and Declining meetings that have little interest or limited value to me. [Like my children], I find that I tend to be late to meetings that I don’t want to attend. Imagine that. So by using email and phone, I can connect with people, avoid the travel time, and reduce wasted time. This frees up time for more productive activities.

    Thank YOU Scott.
    Eric Gelb, The Revenue Miner

  2. SLIAssociates Says:

    Great ideas Eric.
    As you mention, the key really is having a great system that works for you.
    I know one person who still does the old “rubberband wrapped around the finger” trick to remind them about an upcoming meeting.
    Another colleague considers his Palm to be his 11th digit.
    Your methods work for you and obviously, help make you the success that you are.
    Thanks for your “timely” thoughts.

  3. Prasad Gorja Says:

    I really like your blog spots as they are informative,insightful and more practical.These articles are useful in shaping an individual to be effective,punctual and organized.

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