Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Importance of Time for Your Job and Career

There are so many things that we can’t control in life, especially when it comes to our job or career. Frequently we’re even evaluated based on things that are out of our control.

It is for this reason that things that are in our control become even more important to do right. We need to get those “did-good chips” in order to compensate for the times that things outside our control go wrong.

What’s the one thing you can control? Being on time to work.

If the company where you work starts the workday promptly at 9:00 a.m., that means you have to be there by 9:00 a.m. In fact, this means you should be at your desk a few minutes before 9 so that there’s no question you were on time.

What if you’re the kind of person who invariably misjudges time? You always think you have five more minutes at home to check Facebook or watch another YouTube video. Then you get to work to discover you’ve misjudged and you’re actually late.

The answer is to get to work early – to convince yourself that this is the “official” starting time. For example, if you have to be at your desk by 9:00, you must act every morning as if you must be there by 8:45. You can’t ever think the start time is really 9:00. You have to always think it’s really 8:45.

When you arrive at your desk at 8:50, you can’t think “I’m 10 minutes early.” You have to think “I’m five minutes late.” Because you are five minutes late on your own time schedule. Meanwhile your boss is pleased because you’re a few minutes early.

Do not assume that being a few minutes late each day goes unnoticed. It rarely does. And while no one may say anything to you about perpetual tardiness, when it comes time to assign an important project with a deadline – a project on which you might really want to work – your name might be passed over because there’s the perception that you aren’t good with deadlines (9:00 a.m. starting time is a daily deadline).

If you’re working hard to get a promotion, do not undercut your own efforts by getting a reputation as someone who doesn’t take his/her job seriously because you’re always sliding in a little late. Better a little early than a little late.

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