Don’t Be Late- Why Being on Time...

Don’t Be Late- Why Being on Time Matters Now and Why It Will in Post-Secondary

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Some people feel as if they spend most of their time waiting. Others are always late for supper, for parties, or even for work or school. Everyone is late at some point in their lives, but being on time is important, especially as people finish high school and move on to post-secondary classes and jobs. No matter how many years you still have left before you graduate, it will help you in the future if you already develop a habit of being on time.

What happens if students arrive late at your school?  Do they have to go to the office to get a late slip or do they just go to class? Some schools are very strict about punctuality but others are not. Many university professors also allow their students to miss classes or to arrive late, but others require regular attendance and punctuality. Even if you are allowed to be late, you should try to be on time. That way, you can be sure not to miss anything important.

Being on time can help you deal well with your classmates, as well.  Many courses include group projects, and you will need to meet with your classmates to work on an assignment. Being a few minutes late might not matter, but if you keep your classmates waiting too often, they might not want to work with you again.

Learning to be on time is good for many reasons. It shows respect for other people’s schedules and commitments. If you keep your friends waiting, you might make them late for their appointments. If you are punctual, people will see you as reliable and will trust you with more responsibility than if you’re always late. That will be especially important when you start to look for work.

Punctuality is also important for many employers. Being late too often might get you fired or cause other problems for you at work. Suppose that you worked at a restaurant during the afternoons. If your replacement for the evening always arrived late, you might miss your supper or be unable to go to a party or other event. At a hospital, being late for work might affect a patient’s health. Factory work, truck driving, and many other jobs depend heavily on punctuality. Employees can even lose their jobs if they are late too often.

If you are normally on time for school and appointments, you can keep on developing your good habits. If you tend to be late, you can already start to develop the habit of being on time. Many different techniques can help you to become more punctual. Writing out a schedule or putting it onto your phone or other device will help. If possible, allow yourself an extra ten or fifteen minutes to get to each appointment. If that isn’t possible, you should at least try to leave as early as you can.

Suppose that you could take two different buses to school. One gets you there ten minutes before class and the other arrives two minutes early. You might think that the second bus is good enough, since it still gets you to school on time. However, thinking that way might end up making you late far too often. What happens if traffic is slow because of bad weather or an accident or construction on the road? Even a short delay might make you late.

While you’re in school, you might not have a lot of choices about your schedule during the day. Before or after school hours, you have much more choice. Then you can decide to become involved in activities that best suit your personality and habits. Choosing an activity for the part of the day when you can control your schedule and be alert and energetic will help you not to be late. If you learn to say “no” to activities that will make your schedule too full, that will also help you to be on time.

Being late can cause problems for you and for the people around you, but you can develop the habit of being on time. People will appreciate your efforts, and many parts of your life will be easier.


Benefits Canada. “Top 12 excuses workers have used for being late.” http://www.benefitscanada.com/news/top-12-excuses-workers-have-used-for-being-late-49879.

Ketchum, Dan. “Why is Punctuality Important in the Workplace?” http://smallbusiness.chron.com/punctuality-important-workplace-10253.html.

Prolific Living. “The Importance of Being Punctual.”  http://www.prolificliving.com/the-importance-of-being-punctual/.

Wakefield Council. “School Attendance Matters – a Parent’s Guide to Good Attendance.”


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