7 Reasons Why It’s Important to Be on Time

Do you wonder if you need to be on time for your appointments and meetings?

Have you ever given thought as to why it’s important for you to arrive on time to professional and personal engagements?

Punctuality, or the state of being on time, is a skill that’s highly underutilized in today’s world.

This skill goes beyond arriving on time to classes as a college student or arriving on time to work as an adult.

Punctuality touches every aspect of your life, from arriving on time to yearly family reunions, to catching the bus every weekday morning.

This practical time management skill is something you can use every single day for the rest of your life.

What’s more, this skill can help you streamline your schedule, save you money, win friends, and further your career.

Those aren’t poor outcomes from learning a single skill.

In this thoughtful post, I offer seven compelling reasons as to why it is important to be on time.

If you’re looking to make a major change in the way you go through life, you cannot go wrong in learning how to be more punctual.

We’re only here on planet earth for a brief period of time.

We might as well make the most of our time and use it to our advantage.

Ready to find out why it’s important to be on time? Let’s get on with the post…

You’ll respect your schedule.

Think carefully about the schedule you’ve created for yourself.

You can work from home on Wednesdays, pick up your kids from school, and go out for a weekly run with your best friend on Saturdays.

You’ve put in a ton of energy and effort to ensure your schedule is just the way you’d like it to be. You’ve worked so hard to make your schedule work seamlessly; why would you even consider throwing that all away?

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens when you arrive late to appointments and meetings.

You end up sabotaging your carefully crated calendar. Don’t forget, you’ve spent countless hours making phone calls, sending text messages, replying to emails, and setting meeting requests online.

When you are tardy, these carefully-laid plans literally end up in the trash.

You’ve effectively wasted time setting up your schedule, wasted opportunities to meet and interact with others, and will waste time in future correcting all of your time management mistakes.

By arriving on time, you’ll ensure you have sufficient time to follow the schedule you’ve set out for yourself. You can enjoy the time you’ve schedule for yourself and other parties to the fullest.

No longer do you have to concern yourself with playing “catch-up” by canceling meetings, cutting short appointments, or rushing through gatherings because you’re running late. You can focus your whole self on the task at hand.

You can practice respecting your schedule by reviewing your calendar on a regular basis. Ensure you have sufficient travel time to and from your appointments, and avoid overbooking or double-booking meetings.

Don’t be afraid to decline invitations to events, gatherings, and activities that do not support your immediate personal and professional goals.

You’ll respect others’ time.

Ever hear of the saying, “Respect is a two way street?”

You can put your best foot forward on that busy street by being punctual to meetings with other people.

And in case you were wondering, arriving late to meetings isn’t just about arriving several minutes late. It has a direct impact on your relationship with other people.

Your actions truly speak volumes about how you respect and treat other people.

Any lateness has a major impact on others’ time and schedules. Your inability to arrive on time means other people will suffer in their daily routine.

It’s almost the physical equivalent of you saying to someone, “I don’t care about you or your schedule.”

Your lateness means other people will have to readjust their plans. They’ll be inconvenienced and may even feel annoyed, frustrated, or angry by your actions.

And don’t for one minute think the person with whom you’re dealing is the only one affected by your tardiness. Other people will suffer too…guaranteed!

Consider the following scenario. Let’s say you arrive late to a meeting with a teacher. Because of your lateness, their schedule is compromised, and they in turn end up late for their class.

Their students will get cheated out of valuable instruction time with their teacher. Those same students will end up being late for their next set of school activities and exercises.

A single lateness can truly have domino effect on others’ schedules and the people with which they interact.

When you’re punctual, you show others you respect them as a person as well as their time.

You’re not only thinking of yourself, but are thinking about their life and their roles and responsibilities. You’re actively considering how your actions will effect their work or studies.

You’ll also show respect for other people in their life, no matter how far removed or remote they may seem. Remember, your actions will speak far louder than your words ever will.

To ensure you arrive on time, take care to schedule sufficient travel time to and from your appointments.

Do a test run of your travel route or check travel times using an app or travel planner.

Plan your days in advance and ask yourself if you’ve truly set aside enough time to arrive in a timely fashion and to be fully present with your contact.

If you’re at all in doubt, you may want to reschedule your meeting for another date to be on the safe side.

You’ll save money.

You work hard for your money, so why would you even consider letting those dollars fly out of your wallet as a result of some forgetfulness or inattentiveness on your part?

Do you let dollar bills fly out out of your pocket when you’re walking down the street? Do you toss coins into sewer gratings at every intersection? Of course you don’t!

In case you hadn’t realized it yet, there’s great value in being punctual when it comes to your financial affairs.

By being on time with bill payments and the like, you won’t incur costly late fees or overdue charges.

Making payments well in advance of due dates may not seem like much when it comes to one or two instances.

But the truth is adding several small penalties, fines, add-ons, or extras can quickly spiral into the hundreds, and even thousands of dollars!

Over time, these small amounts can exponentially add up after several weeks, months, and years. What’s more, you may end up forking over even more money because of compounded interest for various personal, professional, and household accounts.

Here are some real-world situations that can end up costing you lots of money if you’re not careful with your time management skills:

  • Making a late credit card payment
  • Paying an overdue invoice
  • Settling an overdue parking ticket
  • Making a late payment on your rent or mortgage
  • Dealing with a late payment for property storage fees for vehicles, equipment, and personal belongings
  • Spending extra for a rush job on a professional service, such as at a printer’s or baker’s
  • Paying for overnight shipping or rush overnight delivery of packages and goods

If that’s not enough to get you thinking seriously about your finances, you can also look at things from another angle.

What if you’re not punctual in the processing of your postal mail, household finances, and more? You may end up losing valuable chunks of money! How is that even possible?

Consider what would happen if you didn’t complete the following tasks within a year or more:

  • Cash a birthday check from your grandma
  • Collect monies owed to you by businesses and organization for services rendered or goods purchased
  • Cash a lawsuit settlement check in your favor
  • Collect million dollar earnings on a winning lottery ticket

When all is said and done, you’d probably end up losing the above monies (and possibly more!) because of your tardiness in dealing with your personal and professional affairs.

Have I convinced you yet when it comes to being punctual with your payments and eagle-eyed on your finances?

You can pay hundreds of dollars in extra fees and interest or you can take that money and put it towards your retirement or a dream vacation.

You can say goodbye to thousands of dollars in settlement monies or you can cash that check and make plans to carefully manage your money. It’s up to you.

Whenever you’re in doubt when it comes to financial matters, remember that it truly pays to take action sooner rather than later.

Read the fine print in all your documents and contracts so you understand the penalties for late fees or delayed payments. Process your postal mail on a regular basis.

Make a schedule to pay your personal and professional bills in a timely manner. Your wallet with thank you!

You’ll get what you want, sooner.

Everyone loves to get what they want, when they want it.

When that’s not possible, the next best thing is to get what you want, sooner.

And guess what? If you arrive on time to appointments and meetings, then you can get what you want that much sooner.

Think about it for a moment: while we can’t control a lot of things in life, we can control ourselves. We can also control our actions.

When you take the time to work on something important to you, be it filing an application, posting a package in the mail, or requesting information from an organization in a timely fashion, you’ll be more likely to receive your desired outcome, sooner.

For example, if you’ve scheduled a lunchtime meeting with a long-lost friend, arriving on time to the restaurant will ensure you’ll see them sooner, rather than later.

Another added bonus to this approach is that it frees up space in your mind. You no longer have to worry about accomplishing a task later because, guess what, you’ll have already completed the task!

You’re effectively putting yourself in the driver’s seat; no more delays and no more procrastinating. You can cross the task off of your to-do list and move on to other important items in your day.

This technique is oh-so simple, but it works. And all it takes is a little bit of focus.

Do your best to prioritize your daily tasks, eliminate those distractions while you work, and get things done during the day.

By focusing on what you can control, as opposed to what you can’t, you’ll be one step closer towards your goal.

You’ll show others you are a reliable person.

Do you want to make a good impression on someone in your life?

It could be a potential date, your new boss at work, your soon-to-be in-laws, or a restaurant investor who’s writing you a check to cover start-up costs for your new coffeehouse.

If so, then you’ll definitely want to make a point to show up on time to your appointments.

Yes, the popularity of punctuality has fallen by the wayside in today’s fast-paced world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a punctual person.

When you arrive on time to your appointments and meetings, it shows others you are a reliable person.

It’s obvious you took great care to gather yourself, your belongings, and prepare appropriate travel arrangements so you could arrive on time to your designated meeting location.

By taking such action, you’ve successfully proved to the other person that you are someone who not only respects others’ time, but values their time too.

While you cannot buy other people’s affections or interests, you can show them through your actions that your character is solid and reliable. Arriving on time is 100% free and completely doable. Anyone can learn how to arrive on time.

And in case you were wondering, arriving on time isn’t a one-time event.

To make the most out your personal and professional relationships, thereby setting a strong foundation for trust, you’ll want to arrive on time to your appointments on a regular basis.

Get in the habit of confirming the start time of meetings, calculating travel time and adding it to your calendar, and making a point to leave your home or office in a timely manner.

You can also ask yourself, “What type of impression will I make on this person if I arrive late? Do I want them to see me as a reliable person?”

If your answer has anything to do with making a good, solid impression as a trustworthy person, you’ll want to take great care to make sure you arrive on time.

You’ll miss the boat/train/plane.

This is one of my favorite reasons for arriving on time because it is so relevant to the way the world works.

It’s a friendly and practical reminder that the world does not revolve around a single individual.

Thoughtfulness, consideration, and kindness are not factors. It’s simply a case of doing business and proof that there are real-life consequences to tardiness. While this may sound harsh, it is the truth.

If you want to travel to Frankfurt, Accra, Phoenix, or Mumbai, and you’re not at the station, airport, terminal, or depot in time, what will happen? The plane, train, bus, boat, or taxi, will leave without you.

When you purchase a train ticket for a specific time and date, you understand you must be on time to board said transportation.

Similarly the transportation operator understands they need to be there on time. They’ll have seats ready and waiting to whisk you away to a dreamy tropical isle, bustling metropolitan city, vast desert expanse, or grandma’s house in the country.

Sure, you could catch a later flight, but your original travel itinerary will be rendered useless.

You’ll have to redo all your travel arrangements. And consider this point: if we allowed transportation schedules to run without any regular structure order, society would literally not move forward, and would come crashing to a halt.

Do yourself a favor and practice arriving on time to your preferred transportation hub or mode of travel.

Add in sufficient travel time to your itinerary and do your best to leave from your home or office on time. You’ll sure to save yourself from travel headaches!

You’ll respect yourself.

You only live one life. Your choices matter. Your decisions matter. Your goals, dreams, and aspirations matter.

The only real question that remains is: are you fully respecting your own time with the respect that it deserves?

This may come as a shock, but your time is important. It should also be treated with respect.

Why is your time important? Your time is important because it is your time. It is your well-organized schedule and calendar entries. Remember, no one else is going to look out for your best interests.

No one understands what values, causes, and issues are most important to you.

And that is why it is so very important for you to show yourself some respect when it comes to your own time.

This includes carving out personal time for yourself, taking your allotted vacation time, participating in causes you care about, and spending time with family and friends.

Respecting your own time may seem a bit silly at first, but it is most certainly worth the effort. It is all about self-confidence and knowing your worth.

Once you learn how to respect yourself, your time, and your needs, you’ll have more energy to interact with others. What’s more, your impact on society with be that much more effective because you’ve appropriately taken the time to respect yourself and your time first.

What steps can you take to show yourself that your time does matter?

Literally put yourself first in your calendar: schedule personal time on weekdays and weekends as needed. Go to sleep at a reasonable hour each night.

Politely decline invitations to events and activities that do not support your goals, wants, or needs. Set boundaries for personal and professional time. And make sure you show up on time to appointments you’ve made with yourself.

And if you’re really looking to make a change in your life when it comes to tardiness, make a point to arrive on time to your appointments for no one other than yourself.

You can think of this as you being on time for yourself and your dreams, accomplishments, and goals.

The benefits are truly great: you’ll get a boost of self-confidence on a daily basis, you’ll have less worries when it comes to your calendar, you may save yourself money, you’ll make a good impression on others, and yes, you’ll be closer to reaching your goals.

Yes, you may not have all the time in the world, but you might as well make the most out of the time you do have available to you.

How about you? Can you think of any other reasons as to why it is important to be on time to meetings, appointments, and functions? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

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About the Author


Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based productivity consultant who helps entrepreneurs manage their time and energy so they can reduce stress, work less, and make more money in their businesses. She has been featured in Fast Company, NBC News, The Washington Post, Business Insider, NPR, Huff Post, Fox Business, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.


  1. Hemalatha

    Thanks a lot…It was so informative and I thus enjoyed while reading.The words were reliable and I could understand better. And also write paragraphs like our opinion on time and how do we feel when we are late etc.thanks once agn

    • Rashelle

      You’re quite welcome, Hemalatha! I’m pleased to hear you enjoyed the post.

  2. freda

    Thank you very much and it highlighted very important points which are usually overlooked.

    • Rashelle

      You are quite welcome, Freda!


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