The Personal Commitment of Time

time“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

I started with the quote above because as I process my thoughts on the idea of time, it really does in essence go back to how the time that you spend, commit and invest is directly correlated to emotions.

Time is an interesting concept in that we have no control over it. It just is. It’s a mear measurement of existence …a marker that “we are here”.

Growing up, I became accustomed to the “flexibility” of time, meaning that we were unaware of the idea that being on time meant just that…ON TIME. If church service was scheduled for 11, we got there at 11:30 when it actually started. If a family event was meant to start at 3, we always told people 2…because time seemed to be flexible for everyone. If we told people 2pm, they showed up at 3pm. The only time that being on time was mandatory were two places…doctor’s office and school. In both of those spaces, you were not late…my mother’s law.

It should be no surprise that in my personal and professional life, I have struggled with time. It is not on purpose but it seems to happen in the most inopportune of moments. I get so focused on one thing that I tend to bypass or “not think” of others which often results in my tardiness. “Working” as an excuse only goes so far. I realized that I had a problem and reflected…

Time, down to the second, is a commitment of oneself. It is a block of moments that you guarantee your entire being to another. Every person’s internal calendar has blocks of moments attached. When you are late, you are disrupting not just your schedule but the entire schedule of another.

Moving forward, I will guarantee that I will be more aware of the time that I commit to others. If I say that I will be somewhere, I will make an extreme effort to make it happen.

As Stephen Covey wrote in the Speed of Trust…

We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior…The fastest way to restore trust is to make and keep commitments-even very small commitments-to ourselves and to others.

I think that Paul Wood said this to me at ISTE during a conversation about time and I agree.

Final thoughts…

The impression that I choose to leave is of our time together and not of my lack of timing.


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