A day late and a dollar short

I’m late.

I hate to be late for anything. I think it shows a lack of respect for the task at hand or the person with whom you’re meeting. But here I am, writing yesterday’s blog post today.

Being late is a decision. Yes, there are sometimes truly unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances that make you late, but in general, being late is the result of a risk/reward calculation. In the decision to be late, you must also decide to accept the consequences thereof.

For example, the fact that this blog post is late may disappoint or confuse some regular readers. I may lose some measure of readership, perhaps permanently. It also limits the potential of my blog to be found on Google, because search engines like regularly updated content, particularly on a set schedule. This also may impact my overall measure of readership, because fewer people may find my blog.

Being late for meetings also carries consequences. On the most extreme end, the person with whom you are meeting may bail out on the meeting. Worse, however, is that they may decide to stay, but discount what you’re trying to accomplish in that meeting. You didn’t respect it enough to show up on time, so obviously it’s not that important.

We all know that being late for work carries some consequences. If you’re hourly, you lose income. If salaried, it may indicate that you’re not invested in your work. It’s not likely to get you terminated on its own unless it’s frequent and extreme, but it might be the tipping point if your performance is marginal.

Try being late for a flight. They don’t wait for you, do they?

If you ever want to see disappointment on a child’s face, be late for one of their events.

In the risk/reward calculation you make on being late, be sure you understand all the consequences, and that you’re ready to accept them.

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