You're late...and a liar.
I've made quick phone calls as I ran out to the car: "Just leaving, I'll be there ASAP!"
I've rushed into a conference room with a table full of people: "Sorry to keep you waiting."
I've texted friends on my way to meet them for lunch: "Go ahead and order, almost there."
Despite the calls, texts, and apologies, here is what you're really saying when you're late:
1. Trustworthy vs Liar
If you tell someone you'll meet them at 10am, then you are essentially making them a promise. Be on time so you can be a man/woman of your word. It's a character issue.
2. Reliable vs Flaky
Being on time shows you're reliable. If you don't show up when you're supposed to, then people will begin to doubt whether they can count on you. It's a dependability issue.
3. Disciplined vs Slack
Discipline can be exercised in your financial life, physical life, professional life, and even in setting/reaching goals. Yet, being late shows a lack of discipline with your time. It's a self-discipline issue.
4. Humility vs Arrogance
When you're late, you communicate to the person waiting that you are more important than them. Whatever you were doing was more important than what they had to do. Their plans and schedule take a back-seat to your plans and schedule. It's a respect issue.
When you realize what is communicated when you aren't punctual, it will change the way you look at your clock.
For me, "on-time" means at least 5-minutes early. I want to make sure I honor you and the time that you've given me to meet.
So what do you think? Is punctuality no big deal, or an important part of life?