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Why Being Punctual Will Change Your Life

Updated: Jan 2

by James Velten. |


The Japanese are famous for being strict about time. I once read that the entire staff of a Japanese bullet train apologized to all their passengers for being 2 minutes late.


In another case, the bosses of a company publicly apologized after it was discovered that a worker was making it a habit to leave the office for lunch break 3 minutes early. He also had his pay docked.



While it seems like the Japanese are obsessed with time, punctuality is truly an essential aspect of all of our lives. And the Japanese are merely an example that the rest of us should follow. Showing up to anything on time sends a better message than always turning up late, whether it is in our work lives, our daily lives or even in our school lives. Having a sense of punctuality should be part of who we are as human beings, as it can also change the way of our living.


For those of us who are still students, this sounds like a drag. Especially when you reach University level where most of the time lecturers or tutors don’t care how late you come in, because it’s your responsibility to be punctual. No matter what level of schooling you are at, it really helps to be on time. You can build better relationships with your teachers because they will appreciate the fact that you make the effort to arrive as early as possible for their classes. It makes your life easier in school, rather than having a reputation for showing up late for every class.



Have you ever found yourself rushing from class to class? Your life would change drastically if you were more punctual. If you woke up a bit earlier, you would have time to enjoy yourself in the morning before class, maybe even grab a cup of coffee. If you have a class at 12pm and another at 1pm, you would feel less rushed if you brought a packed lunch. Being more aware about the time makes your day a lot smoother and allows you to focus on your studies instead of thinking, “Can I make it to class today?”.


We have all seen a movie scene where a guy is rushing to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, rush for public transport and then rush through the doors of a meeting he is 20 minutes late for. Why? Probably because he didn’t wake up early enough. School teaches us something very critical that we will need in our working lives. Punctuality.


Being able to show up for work on time is vital no matter what you do for a living.

Waking up a bit earlier in the morning allows you a few extra minutes to enjoy yourself, enough time to read the newspaper in peace while you enjoy your steaming hot cup of coffee. You might even have time to take an enjoyable walk to work, instead of having to rush for public transport and cram yourself on the train with the rest of the people who are late for work. It sets the tone for the rest of the day, giving yourself a better mood at the start of it which you then carry into work, leading to a productive day on the job.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk fires his workers for being more than a minute late 9 times. This sounds really harsh but it sends a clear message that punctuality is a critical part of being a worker at a top-performing company like Tesla. But of course, not every company has to practice this.



Being punctual will help you build better relations with your boss; it creates a better image for yourself because it shows how committed you are to the role and taking up the responsibility for it. It lets your boss know that they can trust you to always be there on time and ready to go. I was told that my boss recently that she appreciates that I am punctual and that I always show up for every task on time and I hand in all my articles way ahead of schedule. Punctuality leads to trust and trust then leads to more opportunities which can help push your career forward.


While I’m not saying we all have to be paranoid, checking our watches every minute and obsessing about the time, I still think that punctuality is really important. Having that awareness about time can affect how your day unfolds, not just with work and school but also your personal life. Your schedule depends on how good you are with your time, if you show up for one meeting late it can lead to showing up for dinner late and it just throws your whole day out of balance. Punctuality is very important and it can really change how your life is; it can make you more productive, lead to better working relations and boost your mood every day. Stress levels can be reduced as well. It doesn’t hurt to try to be on time whenever we can.

You may find out more about James on his Instagram too.

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