The Surprising Benefit of Being Early

Hi, my name’s Jon and I’m a late-oholic. Many times, I’ve tried to create a habit of punctuality and the reviews are mixed. Writing this, I realize, is rich irony. I’m not an early-person. I’m not even an on-time-person. What can I say? I’m a work in progress. However, recently I had a fortuitous experience with being early.

It was a surprising benefit, not like the traditional ones you’ve heard: making a good impression or having backup time in case of some misfortune. Those are good, and can set you up for success, but they haven’t inspired me to be early. Here’s what happened.

Last week, I found myself with 15 extra minutes before I needed to leave home for work, that meant I was going to make it to work, not just on-time, but early. Just as I was about out the door I noticed something. The kitchen was a mess. My wife had to sprint out of the house to get the kids to school and didn’t have a chance to tidy up the kitchen (Which is something she does very well). 

I know she hates coming home to a dirty kitchen so I used my bonus minutes to tidy up. So instead of making it to work early I had to settle for just being on-time. No problem. An hour later I received an emoji-full text thanking me. 

If I would have been on time that day, or worse, late, I never would have been able to tidy up. And that’s it, that’s the surprising benefit, being early creates margin for blessing others.

Most of us want to bless others, but if you’re like me, it’s hard to find the time. I want to write my wife a love note, help that person who’s run out of gas, call an old friend, but when do I have the time? We’re a people of good intentions and few margins. 

By creating a habit of being early, you’re not just setting yourself up for successyou’re creating a personal platform for blessing.