Punctuality often seems like the trait of boring people but it shouldn't (okay, I'm sure there are plenty of boring, punctual people), but punctuality should not be viewed as the empty compliment it is seen as today. Punctuality is one form of acting on a promise. Believe it or not, when you take a job, a project, or a date for that matter, you make a promise to be somewhere or do something at a certain time. In that sense you can see that punctuality is a part of your honesty; punctuality is simply one of those important skills needed to get along in society. That said and done, I don't think anyone could be credited for being boring or obnoxious simply for keeping promises and generally showing up on time.

I shouldn't have to remind you about this, but getting to work on time is very important to whoever your overseer may be—even if that person isn't very punctual his or herself! They see this type of punctuality as a greater sign of how dedicated you are to your job. People who always show up at the right time to work and meetings are likely to be the one's who get their work done on time. They also tend to have the attitude that bosses prefer to work with. Even if your employer isn't a stickler for such things, being on time is an easy way to improve your image with management without that much effort.

Getting your work done on time is also very important to your value to the workplace, for obvious reasons. Businesses don't make money if they don't get stuff done, and if you have an inability to finish work on time then you are likely harming your employer's income and image. It is true that too much may be expected of you, but unfortunately that's beyond my department. Even if the rest of the staff are failing to make their deadlines, you will look all that much better for having met yours. Working on the virtues of Agility and Efficiency will help you improve in this area.

I have talked up to this point about using punctuality to earn the esteem of your bosses, but it can do so much more for you than that. Taking punctuality seriously will give you a different attitude about the workplace, and it may even make you happier to be at there. Once you take your job seriously and work hard at it, you will find yourself personally taking it more seriously over time. If you are proud of your work then you are less likely to loathe showing up to do that work. If your superiors aren't calling you names and yelling at you everyday, you may even get out of the bed in the mornings. Being punctual will make you a more productive and happier employee.

Becoming punctual is mostly about developing new habits and learning a few skills. If you get in the habit of getting to work on time, you've find success with a significant portion of this virtue. If you organize your time better so you get things done on time, then you become punctual. Being punctual isn't about who you are inherently but about doing things you do in a good way, so punctuality doesn't have any effect on anyone's free spirit.

Down below are some activities that can help you if you are focusing on this virtue.


  • Make a Record of Your Attendance: If your boss isn't doing it for you and sending you reminders, make a record of when you come in to work late and when you get there on time. Just like dieting records, this may give you a clearer picture of how often you are tardy. You may be surprised!
  • Organize Your Morning Routine: Get your clothes ready the night before, give yourself an extra thirty minutes to get ready, leave earlier than you absolutely have to. These are all things that can help you get ready and out the door so you can face the world—in the punctual way.
  • Work on Agility and Efficiency: If you just seem to have a hard time getting work done on time, working on these virtues might just clear that up for you.
  • Work on Time Management: You are not going to get things done if you don't make the time for that to happen. Most people can't make up success as they go along.

Your Record

Whenever you are late for work, a meeting, or anything that has a set arrival time, then mark yourself at "fault". If you fail to meet a deadline, then mark yourself at fault. Make some goals, perhaps using the tips up above. If you fail to perform the activity or you fail to meet a goal, then mark yourself at fault.


Punctuality is the soul of business.

Thomas C. Haliburton, Canadian Writer

Punctuality is the politeness of kings.

Louis XVIII, King of France

Punctuality is one of the cardinal business virtues: always insist on it in your subordinates.

Don Marquis, American Writer, Columnist, Novelist, and Poet

Golden Mean


Recommended Reading

Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged — by Diana DeLonzor

This fun book covers all aspects of getting places on time, including a description of the root causes, how anxiety and the perception of time affect time-management, and seven tips on becoming more punctual.

Successful Time Management For Dummies — by Dirk Zeller

This is the time-management book from the popular "For Dummies" series, which is known for its easy-to-read format.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Punctuality is the politeness of kings. Louis XVIII