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**The Business Consortium**
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Organization Tuesday: The Late Business Consortium SolopreneurViews: 477
Feb 04, 2009 1:34 amOrganization Tuesday: The Late Business Consortium Solopreneur#

Julie Bestry
“Better late than never, but never late is better.”

As a professional organizer, I deal with tangibles (stuff) and intangibles (time, belief-systems), and one of the factors that shapes how well someone adapts to new organizing and time management skills and systems is whether the person understands and internalizes the concept of limits.  

For example, some clients will clip articles with the vague intention to read them in the future, or hold onto unread journals, magazines and books, year after year, with little or no effort towards reading the items in the ever-climbing piles.   Often, we have to sit down, count how long it takes to read one medical journal or one text in their field, and then extrapolate ... at which point, the client is shocked and chagrined to realize that reading the backlog (not even counting the continual addition of materials), as if it were a job, eight hours a day, five days a week, would likely be impossible.  Certainly, it would take longer than their predicted lifespans.  Without a concerted effort to rein in the materials, the idea that there's a limit on the space one's items can/should take up tends to become a vague, out of reach concept, like death.  Instead, people buy storage more containers.  Heck, they rent storage buildings!

Well, if people are bad about "stuff", they're often less successful measuring and accounting for their time.  And unlike stuff, you can't really expand your limits.  We all get the same 24 hours, the same 365 days; certainly our lifespans vary, but out day-in, day-out schedules are all similarly limited.

Given the number of deadlines in our daily lives:  expiration dates on foods, quarterly estimated tax deadlines, project due dates...it constantly surprises me how fluid most people's relationships with time actually are.  You would think that our "outside" limits on professional time would enforce more structure and that we'd be more efficient.  However, I recently read that ten minutes of tardiness per professional amounts to $90 Billion (yes, billion with a "B") per year in lost productivity.  That's equivalent to approximately 1% percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product!  Further, academic research has estimated that at least 20% of Americans experience chronic tardiness, arriving almost everywhere for almost everything, late.

Time is money, so lost time means lost money.  When we are late, we decrease our productivity and the productivity of those dependent upon us.  However, in addition to the measurable losses of each "tardy" event, there are social and professional losses that can have profound negative repercussions in our business (and personal) relationships.  Just yesterday on Twitter, a young entrepreneur tweeted (asked) publicly, and then to our own Felicia Slattery:

"Do you judge people if they are late for an appointment or give someone a 2nd chance if they miss an appointment w/you?"  

Our esteemed Felicia responded "If someone is late for an appt w/ me w/o compelling reason/call/email, it lowers their credibility w/ me."

So, we're not only talking about lost money, but lost credibility.  Being responsible with your time and others' time determines how we're seen by others, and our reputations can determine our incomes.  Thus, it's important to see how being late adversely impacts our own productivity and negatively affects reputation when tardiness delays prospects, clients/customers and strategic partners. And of course, other people's tardiness certainly influences the ebb and flow of our business days, so we need to look at  how we can keep other people's chronic lateness from derailing us.  

Over the next several weeks, I'm going to use Organization Tuesday to hone in on a variety of time management issues.  We'll revisit some of the topics we've discussed in the past (goal-setting, task-planning, dealing with interruptions), but we'll also focus specifically on some of the nitty gritty ways we can stop being late and stop other people's being late from reverberating through our own lives.  

But first, I'd like to take the temperature of the group, and ask some questions, which I'd earnestly ask you all to answer here in the forum:

1)  What amount of time constitutes "late" to you if you are waiting for someone else?  Is anything within 5 minutes acceptable?   15 minutes?  Half an hour?  (Assume you do not know the reason for the delay.)

2)  Do you have the same definition of "late" when you are the one arriving?  

3)  Do your answers to #s 1 and 2 differ if you aren't physically meeting someone, but are having a phone call, a teleclass or digital meeting.

4)  Does the person's status make a difference?  For example, are you more willing to accept  tardiness from your doctor than your spouse?  From a prospect vs. a colleague?

5)  Under what circumstances, if any, do you think it's acceptable to be "late"?  For example, would you never be late to a business meeting with a client but consider it OK to be late to meet a friend for lunch?  Is it not acceptable to be late delivering a tangible product, but OK to be late for a  client session.

I encourage you to use this space to share your belief systems, annoyances and experiences. I promise to incorporate tips and systems to meet each personal preference.

--
Julie Bestry, Certified Professional Organizer®
Best Results Organizing
"Don't apologize.  Organize!"
organize@juliebestry.com
Visit http://www.juliebestry.com to sign up for Best Results For Busy People:  Organizing Your Modern World, a newsletter to help you save time and money, reduce stress and increase your productivity

Private Reply to Julie Bestry

Feb 04, 2009 1:42 pmOrganization Tuesday: The Late Business Consortium Solopreneur#

The Eagle: Motivating Champions Around The World
1) What amount of time constitutes "late" to you if you are waiting for someone else? Is anything within 5 minutes acceptable? 15 minutes? Half an hour? (Assume you do not know the reason for the delay.)


Answer: If someone is late coming to pick me up for a meeting or coming for an appointment with me I expect them to be on time. There is nothing worse then walking into a conference or Seminar after it begins. It distracts the other people who got there on time.


2) Do you have the same definition of "late" when you are the one arriving?


Answer: I am always ready an hour before going to a Seminar or conference when someone is picking me up. I value their time in every sense. I expect them to be on time Unless they have a compelling reason and notify me.


3) Do your answers to #s 1 and 2 differ if you aren't physically meeting someone, but are having a phone call, a teleclass or digital meeting.


Answer: No, They are the same as My Time is valuable and if I set up a Conference call I expect the other people who are going to be on the call to be punctual as well.


4) Does the person's status make a difference? For example, are you more willing to accept tardiness from your doctor than your spouse? From a prospect vs. a colleague?


Answer: I expect the same Value of my time from a Doctor or a colleague. When it comes to spouses I don't have one.


5) Under what circumstances, if any, do you think it's acceptable to be "late"? For example, would you never be late to a business meeting with a client but consider it OK to be late to meet a friend for lunch? Is it not acceptable to be late delivering a tangible product, but OK to be late for a client session.


Answer: I understand things happen from time to time that makes a person late. But they should have the courtesy to inform you on a timely basis.




Richard "The Eagle" Motivator
Live and Act Like a Champion Today!!
http://www.eagleenterprisesusa.com/
http://abhp-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to The Eagle: Motivating Champions Around The World

Feb 09, 2009 4:30 pmre: Organization Tuesday: The Late Business Consortium Solopreneur#

Julie Bestry
Since I asked everyone else, I should be openly, neurotically honest, too:

1) If I'm waiting for someone else at a distant location, I get agitated if the other person is more than five-ten  minutes late (without calling).  Well, to be honest, I get agitated if the person isn't at least exactly on time, because I'm left wondering if I'm actually in the right place, if the other person has forgotten the appointment and so on.  As a professional organizer, I intellectually know that people are late for reasons rarely having to do with power plays or believing their time is more valuable than mine.  As a human being, however, I'm fallible, and thus annoyed.


2) I don't believe it's ever acceptable for me to be late, so I'm always early/on time.  (Hate me now.)  Given the unique relationship a professional organizer has with time, my credibility would be even more adversely impacted by tardiness than the average Joe.  If I am not within 10 minutes of my location by 15 minutes before the appointed time, I call.  (Cell phones have eliminated anyone's excuse for being late without notification.)


3) I'm much more lenient when it comes to someone being late to meet me at my home/office because  it does not adversely affect my productivity.  I'll still worry that the person is lost, lying in a ditch or has forgotten, but less so than if I've had to travel to meet them, because my surroundings are more comfortable and able to distract me.  Tardiness for teleclasses and online meetings depends on whether I'm the speaker and whether the moderator has turned off those annoying "be-boop" noises that ding every time new person arrives on the call.  (It's the aural equivalent to having people enter a movie theater after the film has started and wind their way to a center seat.)


4) I'm slightly more annoyed when a professional makes me wait, because they have daily experience with how frustrating that is. If a mom of 3 is late because her life has exploded, I have more sympathy than if a professional has kept me waiting. However, I think there's also an element of how open I can be. I can call my friend's cell and say "You're late and this is not working for me", but being the cranky to the office staff of a professional you're waiting to met just makes you look all the worse.


5) Again, I'm torn between intellectual and emotional response, because I don't want to seem like a robot to all of you.  But being late, even if it's not intended to do so, says to the other person, "your time isn't valuable enough to me to moderate my behaviors so that I can show you respect".  So, over  the next weeks, I'll share with you my advice so that your current and future clients, friends and family can know that you do value their time as much as your own.

--
Julie Bestry, Certified Professional Organizer®
Best Results Organizing
"Don't apologize.  Organize!"
organize@juliebestry.com
Visit http://www.juliebestry.com to sign up for Best Results For Busy People:  Organizing Your Modern World, a newsletter to help you save time and money, reduce stress and increase your productivity

Private Reply to Julie Bestry

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