Respecting other peoples time

Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience. Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.

You may think managing time is only about how you manage your personal work schedule, but the fact is time affects us all. In some ways, respecting other people’s time means you are respectful of your own time and schedule. Here are some effective tips on how to be respectful of other people’s time.

Name your time…and stick to it.

Arranging a meeting with someone? Specifically name how much time you’ll need from them and stick to your word. It shows you value and honor the other person’s time. If you only need fifteen minutes of someone’s time, spend only fifteen minutes with them. It’s as simple as that.

Arrive early to appointments and meetings.

Some people confuse arriving early to a meeting with arriving on time. If you have a meeting scheduled for 10 A.M., you should aim to arrive before that time, say, at 9:45 or 9:50 A.M. Arriving on the dot at 10 A.M. is too late — that’s when you’re supposed to start your meeting! Strive to arrive between ten and fifteen minutes early to your appointments. You’ll have enough time to get settled in, pull out your things, and start your meeting…on time.

Always be prepared.

Frantically searching for a pen, borrowing a notebook, and rifling through your bag for your files not only looks unprofessional, but can take up precious time. Before meeting with someone, make sure you’ve appropriately gathered and prepared everything you need for your meeting. You should have your notes and research at the ready, computers and tablets should be fully charged and booted up, and you should have a pen and notepad on hand. You might want to create a list of must-have items for your meetings so you’ll always know what to pack.

Be relentlessly proactive.

Don’t always wait for direction from others. Use your own skills and resources to start getting things done and solve problems. Get in the habit of figuring things out for yourself. Don’t be afraid of a challenge once in a while.

Eliminate distractions where possible.

This means thinking about, and neutralizing potential distractions that could interfere with your time together. Common distractions include phone calls, text alerts, being interrupted by other people, extraneous materials, and so on. You might have to move your meeting from a noisy office to a quiet conference room, ask people not to call or text you, remove a stack of unrelated files from your desk, or, again, put your phone to voicemail or silence it completely.

smartphonePut away that cell phone.

Do you check your text messages, email, voicemail, play games, or otherwise distract yourself with your cell or smart phone when meeting with someone? If you do, you’re only wasting your time, and theirs. Plus, fiddling with your phone is downright rude! Restrain yourself. Silence or turn off your device if you have to. Remember, you set up your meeting so you could spend some solid, quality, one-on-one time with that person. If you’re going to ignore someone while you’re sitting right in front of them, why bother setting up the meeting in the first place?

Let others know when you’re behind schedule.

If you are running late to an appointment or meeting, call ahead to let people know you’re behind schedule. Let them know where you are, what your estimated time of arrival is, and whether to cancel appointments and schedules as soon as possible.

If you know you can’t make a meeting, appointment or event, don’t sit on your cancellation.

Let the other party know as soon as you can so they have adequate time to rework their schedules, cancel reservations, postpone preparations, and so on; they can go ahead without you, etc.

Treat others as you would like to be treated.

If you’re ever in doubt as to how you should respect other people’s time, simply remember the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. This may sound lovely in theory, but how do you actually go about doing so? Here’s one way to go about it: think about a recent meeting where someone blatantly disrespected your time. The experience made you angry and frustrated. What sent you over the edge? Were they late? Did they ignore you? Did they talk on and on and make you miss another appointment? Once you’ve identified that particularly frustrating action, make note of it. Do everything you can to *not* replicate the actions of *that* person in your meetings with others.

meetingStart meetings on time, End meetings on time.

Start meetings when they are supposed to start, and don’t wait for late stragglers to arrive. It’s highly rude and insulting to those people who did everything in their power to arrive on time to a meeting. Waiting to start shows favouritism to those who haven’t yet made it to the meeting and devalues the time of the people sitting right in front of you. This tip echoes my previous pointer; end meetings when they are supposed to end, Period. Dragging a meeting on and on past the ending time is a sure-fire way to have people dislike and distrust you.

 

By: Umaru Maryam Hadejia

 

 

 

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