Time Management Tip: How to Respect Other People’s Time

posted in: Time Management 2

How to Respect Other People's Time “Well, it’s a little after 9am, let’s give some people more time to arrive before we start class…” 

Does this phrase sound familiar?

You may think managing time is only about how you manage your personal and/or work schedule, but the fact is time affects us all.

Today’s post covers a few pointers on how to properly respect other people’s time.

Hint: these tips have nothing to do with waiting for people to arrive late!

Start meetings on time.

Start meetings when they are supposed to start, and don’t wait for late stragglers to arrive.

It’s highly rude and insulting to those people who did everything in their power to arrive on time to a meeting.

Waiting to start shows favoritism to those who haven’t yet made it to the meeting and devalues the time of the people sitting right in front of you.

End meetings on time.

This tip echoes my previous pointer; end meetings when they are supposed to end.


Dragging a meeting on and on past the ending time is a sure-fire way to have people dislike and distrust you.

Name your time…and stick to it.

Arranging a meeting with someone?

Specifically name how much time you’ll need from them and stick to your word.

It shows you value and honor the other person’s time.

If you only need fifteen minutes of someone’s time, spend only fifteen minutes with them.

It’s as simple as that.

Let others know when you’re behind schedule.

If you are running late to an appointment or meeting, call ahead to let people know you’re behind schedule.

Let them know where you are, what your estimated time of arrival is, and whether they can go ahead without you, etc.

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Don’t make a scene if you arrive late to a meeting.

Instead of wasting other people’s time and interrupting the flow of the meeting, get in, sit down, and get yourself settled.

Save your apologies for after the meeting.

Refrain from volunteering other people’s time.

Don’t put other people in an uncomfortable spot or situation by volunteering their time; you don’t know what their schedule or situation is like!

Let them figure out how they are going to spend their time.

You’ve got your own time to manage.

Cancel appointments and schedules as soon as possible.

If you know you can’t make a meeting, appointment or event, don’t sit on your cancellation.

Let the other party know as soon as you can so they have adequate time to rework their schedules, cancel reservations, postpone preparations, and so on.

Give people your undivided attention.

Years of weekly elementary school assemblies has drilled this statement into my psyche: give guests (and flat-out people in general) your undivided attention.

Otherwise, you are wasting both your time…and theirs.

How about you? Do you have any interesting or inspiring stories of people who have truly valued your time? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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2 Responses

  1. Janis

    Yes I remember having made arrangements with women from the Na program I meet for coffee. And every time they were on time and never canceled. They took the time out of there busy schedule to meet and listen to my problems and needs and complaints. Wow I’m sure thankful for the women that i have met in the rooms. They truly care and I’m sure with out adout gonna show the same curtesy twords others. They are showing me the way. Thank god. This was a great read and gave me some good insight on what to and what not to do. Thank you. Love Janis.

    • Rashelle

      Thanks for your note Janis. It’s nice to hear your story and it certainly seemed like those ladies really knew how to respect others’ time. Thanks for reading and for your comment!