Are you looking to better manage your time?
Do you want to work seamlessly with other people’s schedules?
Fortunately, this isn’t as difficult as it may seem!
In this post, I offer five ways you can show respect towards other people’s time.
In some ways, respecting other people’s time means you are respectful of your own time and schedule.
Arrive early to appointments and meetings.
Some people confuse arriving early to a meeting with arriving on time.
If you have a meeting scheduled for 10 A.M., you should aim arrive before that time, say, at 9:45 or 9:50 A.M.
Arriving on the dot at 10 A.M. is too late — that’s when you’re supposed to start your meeting!
Strive to arrive between ten and fifteen minutes early to your appointments.
You’ll have enough time to get settled in, pull out your things, and start your meeting…on time.
Always be prepared.
Frantically searching for a pen, borrowing a notebook, and rifling through your bag for your files not only looks unprofessional, but can take up precious time. Before meeting with someone, make sure you’ve appropriately gathered and prepared everything you need for your meeting.
You should have your notes and research at the ready, computers and tablets should be fully charged and booted up, and you should have a pen and notepad on hand. You might want to create a list of must-have items for your meetings so you’ll always know what to pack.
Put away that cell phone.
Do you check your text messages, email, voicemail, play games, or otherwise distract yourself with your cell or smart phone when meeting with someone? If you do, you’re only wasting your time, and theirs. Plus, fiddling with your phone is downright rude!
Restrain yourself. Silence or turn off your device if you have to. Remember, you set up your meeting so you could spend some solid, quality, one-on-one time with that person. If you’re going to ignore someone while you’re sitting right in front of them, why bother setting up the meeting in the first place?
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CALENDAR.
Feel stressed out by your schedule? Tired of turning in assignments late? The Order Expert’s Guide to Time Management is a hands-on workbook that provides practical solutions to common, everyday time management problems.
Eliminate distractions where possible.
This means thinking about, and neutralizing, potential distractions that could interfere with your time together. Common distractions include phone calls (see above), text alerts, being interrupted by other people, extraneous materials, and so on.
You might have to move your meeting from a noisy office to a quiet conference room, ask people not to call or text you, remove a stack of unrelated files from your desk, or, again, put your phone to voicemail or silence it completely.
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
If you’re ever in doubt as to how you should respect other people’s time, simply remember the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. This may sound lovely in theory, but how do you actually go about doing so?
Here’s one way to go about it: think about a recent meeting where someone blatantly disrespected your time. The experience made you angry and frustrated. What sent you over the edge? Were they late? Did they ignore you? Did they talk on and on and make you miss another appointment?
Once you’ve identified that particularly frustrating action, make note of it. Do everything you can to *not* replicate the actions of *that* person in your meetings with others.
How about you? In what ways do you show respect towards other people’s time? Do you arrive early, always come prepared, or do you do something else? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!