Showing up on time is critically important. It’s such a measure of impoliteness for some people that they will refuse to meet with you if you’re even a little late. Believe me, this has happened to me.
Whether it’s a meeting, interview, call, or event, showing up late can immediately leave a negative impression of unprofessional and screw over any chances of professional or business advancement.
Trust me, I have learned the hard way by showing up late throughout my life.
From my own experience, I have developed what I like to call the Rule of 2.5.
Any place you are going to that will take 25 minutes or longer in estimated commute, you must leave for the event ready at least 2.5 times earlier than the commute. Anything under 25 minutes, use 1.75 instead of 2.5.
Now, that may seem a bit overboard. But trust me, from experiencing it the hard way numerous times, I have arrived late numerous times if I don’t leave at least 2.5 times earlier than the expected commute.
The Rule of 2.5 will allow you to get there 10 to 15 minutes before the event or meeting starts.
Why does this occur? Because you can’t trust the estimated commute times on your mobile phone app or the internet.
Here are just a number of the things that add on commute time:
- Unexpected traffic from holidays, events, or accidents
- Being unfamiliar with an area
- Difficulty finding parking
- Aggressive driving from other people preventing you from getting to the road or exit you expect to get on
- Walk time from the parking spot to the place
- Getting lost by taking the wrong road or exit
All of these things screw you over because you end up sprinting to the place to get there on time and arrive disheveled, out of breath, frantic, and anxious. Instead, you should be arriving relaxed, prepared, put-together, confident, and ready. It puts you in the wrong state of mind and already puts the people you are meeting within an annoyed state or angered state as well.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If they say you only need a little more than the expected commute time, they haven’t gone to as many meetings, interviews, or events as I have and learned the hard way. Yes, I have been refused a meeting because I was tardy.
If it’s an incredibly important in-person meeting like a management consulting job or interview at Facebook, Google, or some other enterprising company, you better be ready. You better use Will’s Rule of 2.5
The only exception would be if you live in the countryside and the traffic, parking, and area is all well-known to you.
What is the alternative to using Will’s Rule of 2.5?
You spend 15 to 30 minutes dressing up, you spend an hour driving and parking when it was expected to take 30 minutes based on your mobile app, you spend 15 minutes sprinting to the location because you missed the closest parking station because it was so hidden and you’re unfamiliar with the area, you arrive only to be immediately turned away because you came so late, you spend an hour driving home, and you spend another 20 minutes undressing in a daze.
Ultimately, you have wasted 3+ hours of your time, plus the unnecessary money you have now spent on parking, to get to an interview you didn’t even have.
These are real-life stories that occur! 3 hours of your life is no joke!
The same model can be applied to a number of different situations, you could have spent the same amount of wasted time on the metro or bus by leaving too late.
Don’t make the same mistake!
Of course, if you live in a highly crowded city area similar to that of New York or Los Angeles, you might have to take Will’s Rule of 2.5 and turn it into the Rule of 3. But generally speaking, 2.5 works well in most cases.
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