Much has been written about the struggles of being chronically late. Time management professionals offer loads of advice for those who hit snooze too often, underestimate their travel time, or who regularly anger friends and co-workers due to their tardiness. But what about those of us who are chronically early? It’s an occupational hazard for me, but I have found it to be mostly helpful and freeing! Here are just a few of the upsides…
I have time to relax. If I’m early, I’m not stressed as I drive or concerned that I’m going to anger the person I’m supposed to meet. I know I have plenty of time to arrive, park, and find where I need to be. I can sing along to the radio, let the wind whip through my hair, and avoid feeling stressed about my arrival time.
Thanks to my smart phone, if I have an unexpected 15 minutes due to early arrival, I can respond to emails, return a few texts, read the news, or mindlessly surf Facebook. If I have a book or a podcast on my phone, I can read or listen to something interesting. I’m able to stay on top of my communication with others during unexpected wait time.
I enjoy having that extra mental time to prepare. If I’m meeting a new client or a business associate, I can think through important topics I may want to discuss and get my thoughts in order. I won’t feel flustered due to rushing in at the last minute because I’ve given myself some transition time to prepare, think, and get my meeting goals in mind. And I won’t run the risk of irritating the person I’m meeting by being late so I know I’ll get off on the right foot.
As my friends can attest, I’m almost always the first guest to arrive at a party. But that usually means I can help the host finish setting up, or get a little one on one time with friends before the crowd arrives. Learn to look at that early arrival time as time found, rather than time wasted.