Give of your time and respect the time of others

Time is an interesting commodity. It is used in different ways all around the world. In our so-called “time poor” countries we consider ourselves so busy that our responsibilities outweigh the time available. We eke out every minute, carefully scheduling and booking appointments weeks and months ahead. We lose a real sense of spontaneity and flexibility. I have also noticed a trend over the past decade in organisations that places such a high value on one’s own time, and that this outweighs the appreciation of the value of time to others.

Once again, it is a balance between managing one’s productivity (which is often but not always a direct outcome of the amount of time that we put into activities), appreciating the use of the time of others, and giving your time freely and generously to others who need or will benefit from it.

Give of your time and respect the time of others. Where is your focus?

  • Do you get up from your desk or current activity when someone walks into your office, or do you continue working? If truly there is no time to talk at this moment, do you respectfully manage the situation and establish another time to meet?
  • Do you cancel or reschedule meetings at the last minute, often, and especially after the other person went to some effort to arrange the meeting, or do you work hard to keep all commitments?
  • Do you make people feel that you are gifting them a few moments and they need to “get on with it”, or do you freely say “of course” when someone requests a moment, an hour or a day of your time?
  • Are you consistently late for meetings or do you make an effort to arrive a few minutes early to be prepared and ready to start at the appointed time?


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