These days it seems that everyone is late. In fact, there are entire businesses that make a living catering to the late crowd… FedEx, fast food, etc.
When I ask people why people why they are not early (or on time), they usually respond, “I don’t have enough time.”
My response is that you don’t have enough time not to be early. Being early actually gives you more time and helps you get more done.
Here are just some of the ways that being early saves us time:
10 Reasons Being Early Saves Time
1 – Timeshifting
When you are early, you are not going/doing things at the same time as everyone else. Leaving 15 minutes early can sometimes save you 30 minutes standing in line or on your commute. The same applies to shopping. Try going to Costco at 10AM on a Saturday and then try the same visit at noon.
2 – You get more done before the meeting
People often think that by being early that they will be wasting that early time. By being 10 minutes early, it will cost them those 10 minutes. Quite to the contrary, you will find that those 10 minutes can be some of the most productive of your day. It is some of the best time to catch up on tasks.
3 – Opportunity favors the early
Opportunity favors the bold, but it also favors the early. I cannot count how many times being early has provided me unforeseen benefits. In the workplace especially, it cannot be understated that opportunities come to those that are early. A friend was recently was awarded a project not only because they were capable but because they were the only one early to the appointment.
4 – Being early allows you to get things done that you did not expect
When you are early, you often get things done that you were not expecting. For several weeks, I had on my todo list to catch up with our CFO. Being early to a meeting let me run some ideas by her that otherwise would have had to wait.
5 – Reduces stress
One of the benefits of being early is that it dramatically reduces stress. Are you always running frantically to your next appointment? If so, not only are you wearing yourself out, but you are not operating at peak productivity. Being early allows you to relax. It frees your mind to think about what you are doing. This relaxation and concentration will directly increase your efficiency.
6 – Allows you get other things done
Have you ever finished a day and felt that you did not have one moment of downtime to get work done? Instead, you day was a Tetris board of interlocking meetings or classes? By being early, you will reclaim small chunks of time which will allow you to get things done that would have otherwise been left out. You will get more done in creative ways and surprise even yourself. Not only will you get to your appointments, but you might even: reply to that email, make that doctor’s appointment, and setup that dinner date.
7 – The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Have you ever shown up to get something and they were already out? Try grocery shopping on a Sunday evening. Last time I did, they were out of bread! I had to make another trip the next day. This is a simple example, but this principle applies in all areas of work and life.
8 – Avoids Crisis Mode
Being early with your projects and tasks helps avoid being in crisis mode. Too many people and businesses operate every day putting out the latest fire instead of working on their priorities. Being early with your work allows you to be proactive instead of reactive.
9 – Gives you time to adjust
Ever finish something at the last moment? A project? A report? An email? As you hurriedly submit it, you know it is probably not your best work. You worry about they spelling, grammar, and message. Did you get it right? Being early, allows you time to review and adjust. This often saves you complications or re-work down the road.
10 – Undone tasks take longer to complete
Did you know that the longer a task is undone, the longer it takes to complete? Tasks undone actually create more work. They tend to get more complicated. A great example is that expense report that has sat for 3 weeks. It was a 10 minute task. Now, it might be a 45 minute task because you have misplaced receipts and forgotten details. Has this happened to you?
Give yourself more time by being early
It is a myth is that it takes more time to be early. Being early to your appointments and in finishing your work will give you more time in your daily routine.
How has being early saved you time?