The other day I had to meet somebody and, for whatever reason, the person was late. It was a benign meeting and the guy is usually very punctual, it just happened this time he was late. As I was enjoying my double espresso, all kind of thoughts about punctuality started to run around my head.
It was already 10 minutes after, and, just as an exercise, I started to think what you can actually do in 10 minutes. For instance:
- you can boil an egg, peel it and eat it
- you can do 3 high intensity fitness circuits
- you can walk an entire kilometer and even stop for 2-3 pictures
- you can run 2 kilometers, at a relative high speed
- you can learn at least 7-8 new words in a foreign language
- you can write 150 words in a blog post
And that’s just off the top of my head, I could easily come up with at leas 20-30 things you can do in 10 minutes, and I’m sure you can too. The thing is, I could have done all those things, but, because I had to wait, I didn’t. Those things never manifested into my life, because I was stuck somewhere else.
And then it struck me.
Punctuality means you’re saving people lives. If somebody waits for you 10 minutes, that person spent something that he can never get back: time. Time is the only non-renewable resource in the world. You simply can’t generate more time.
So, when somebody spends some of this resource waiting for you, instead of spending that time doing whatever they want from the list above, they’re literally dying earlier than they should. And, like it or not, you’re the one to blame. Being late kills people. Slowly, but it kills them.
The good news is, when you’re punctual, you’re actually saving people lives.
Sometimes, being a hero, like in saving someone’s life, is way simpler than it looks. All you have to do is to be on time.
And, at this point, my friend just showed up. During those 10 minutes of waiting, I wrote the blurbs for the article you’re just finishing now, using ZenTasktic, so I didn’t feel like I lost any of that time. Somehow, I managed to invest those 10 minutes into a future blog post, and that put some life into them.
And then we went on with our meeting.