For starters it is the quality of being timely, so I had to look up timely and here is what good old Miriam-Webster‘s had to say:
As an adverb:
1. archaic: early or soon
2. in time : opportunely
As an adjective:
1. coming early or at the right time
2. appropriate or adapted to the times or the occasion
So timeliness equates to the quality of being early, on time, opportune, appropriate.
For starters today I am not going to tell you what I think, rather I’m going to tell you what I don’t think. Timeliness is not…
going over the speed limit, zigzagging around cars and running red lights to get to work on time. Or to get to anything for that matter, on time.
pushing your way to the front of the line so you can be waited on first.
talking on your cell phone about the hot date you had last night for 20 minutes after you clocked into work.
asking someone into your office for a meeting on time but then making them wait until you show up, get off the phone, finish reading something, finish texting, etc.
Okay, so hopefully you get the idea. Now please don’t think that I don’t understand that sometimes stuff happens. But it shouldn’t be all the time. In fact, it really ought to be a rarity. I remember the days when being late to work would get you fired. And with the economy as it is, that is something to start worrying about now too. There are plenty of people out there that want a job and can be on time.
It is interesting though, that being on time is not all that the word timeliness is about though. It is also about being opportune and appropriate. Timely is showing up at a time when needed. And it is showing up to the right place too. Arriving at the dentist when you were supposed to be at the hospital checking in for your much-needed heart surgery, that would be pretty untimely.
So here is what I think, or rather what I hope. I hope that all of you out there try to get to the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude. I hope you will, by leaving early, do it safely. I hope that you consider others and their time as much, if not more than, you consider yourself and your own time.