Why is punctuality such an important time management skill for freelance writers? Simple — punctuality is a sign of someone who is organized and trustworthy.
If you want editors to give you freelance writing projects, or get people you care about to spend time with you, you must be on time.
If you cannot keep your word to be on time for a client meeting or to finish a freelance writing project by the deadline, how can you be trusted to do any important task either well or on time?
If you are often late, your career, your social life, and your family life will suffer.
On Time for What?
For everything, as much as possible:
- Freelance writing deadlines
- Business meetings
- All appointments with professionals
- Classes and workshops
- Recreation time with friends and family
- Meals, especially when someone is cooking for you
- Work, if you’re employed by someone besides yourself
- Work, if you work for yourself
What to Do if Punctuality is a Problem for You…
On a psychological level, think about how your lack of punctuality is hurting your career and your relationships with others; on the flip side, think about how your career and relationships with others will improve when you are regularly on time.
4 Ways to Be Punctual
#1. Don’t over-schedule yourself. Give yourself an extra cushion of time to finish a writing assignment, for example.
#2. Be clear on your priorities. Don’t let yourself be distracted by low-priority tasks that require you to later rush higher priority activities that result in tardiness for appointments and missed deadlines.
#3. Leave for appointments at least 10 minutes sooner than you think you need to.
#4. Related to number 3, give yourself plenty of time to get ready to leave for an appointment. Get totally ready and then spend the extra time doing activities that can be done in small chunks of time, such as answering e-mails or paying bills.
Be Wary of Working with Chronically Late People
Such people will slow down any project, and they can make you miss a deadline because they haven’t finished their part. The problems they create can hurt or kill a business venture.
Are you usually on time? Why or why not? What problems have you had with people that are frequently late? Share your stories and suggestions.