Out of all 9 habits, this one is the most underrated even though it’s just as important as the other 8. The best way to demonstrate its importance is through a story.
You have an interview at 10:00. You wake up late because you slept through your alarm. You frantically look for your clothes, they’re a little wrinkly but you throw them on. You grab an apple then hop in the car or wait for the train. Regardless of which way you get to the interview you arrive to the front door of the building at 10:00. You sprint to the office or wherever you’re being interviewed and let the people who need to know that you’ve arrived. You have every excuse ready to go as to why you’re late, why you forgot your resume, and why you look like you just woke up, but before you say anything in your rolodex of excuses, the person says, “You’re early for your 11:00 interview.”
All the sudden an extreme calm falls over your body. You are now early and can be better prepare to impress during your interview. You ask the person if they can print out your resume. You head to the bathroom to freshen up. You let the wrinkles fall out of your shirt, you even buy a toothbrush and toothpaste to brush your teeth.
When you were late everything was going against you and you were thinking of tons of excuses to justify you not being prepared. When you were accidentally early, you were able to properly prepare. Being prepared cures unforced stress and allows you to do thing you need to do with absolute focus.
When someone says to me “LeRoy, I’m late because…” I tune out everything after the “because”, because I genuinely don’t care. And in classic LeRoy fashion I say something like, “I stopped listening because I don’t care. Don’t be late again or I’ll find someone who wants a job and will be on time.” Or something to that affect in a nice way and with a smile.
Don’t make excuses!