I’m habitually early – a trait that I’ve inherited from my mother. Being late bothers me. I feel disorganised, flustered. I’d rather be 15 minutes early than 2 minutes late; in fact, I’d rather be 15 minutes early than on time.
Why do I prefer to be early?
Partly it’s about creating a buffer to avoid being late. If I’m leaving the building to go to a meeting, I’ll allow 10 minutes to get from the second floor to reception. Why? So that I have time for anyone that I meet on the way; it allows me to create, or seize ,opportunities as they present themselves.
And what happens if I don’t meet someone on my way out of the building?
Well, that’s easy – I’ll be early.
Isn’t that a waste of time?
Not for me. Being early brings a few benefits:
- It usually means that I can completely disengage from my previous task/activity and be fully present for my new one;
- I have time to catch up with people as they are gathering;
- I feel organised and composed;
- I can relax/meditate/prepare my mind;
- I can even read something (I have always carried something to read, even before tablets and smartphones.)
What about you? Are you habitually early, or late, or just in time?