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October 19, 2016

Punctuality Through Technology

This is my latest Vlog on YouTube – “Punctuality Through Technology” – with its complete transcript here on my blog. You can also choose to view captions in the video also if interested.

Hi. I am Ashish Lal.

There are many people in this world who are frequently late and are always ready with genuine excuses. This video is not to lecture them or to convert them into punctual beings. We’ll talk only to those who want to be punctual but somehow cannot be.

We’ll cover two aspects here:

  1. Using technology, how we can be on time
  2. The flaw in time calculation because of which many people get late

Let me explain how to use technology through an example. suppose you’re traveling within the city of  Mumbai and you’ve to go from Andheri West to The Taj Mahal Palace in Colaba. The first thing to do is to open Google Maps on your laptop or mobile. In Google Maps, you can choose different modes of transport such as car, train, your long legs, cycle or airplane. You can also choose if you need to go via a certain place – they’re called ‘stops’. Suppose you’re traveling by car. Select your starting point and your destination. You can see the time it would take based on the average traffic condition on that day, during that time. Choose when you’d like to leave – you can select not just that day but other days as well.

Now you know approximately how much time it would take. Is that enough to always be on time? No! To be on time, try to be before time. You must give yourself buffer time considering unforeseen circumstances. A thumb rule that works most of the time for me is: if you’re travelling to a place that would take 30 minutes or less to reach, take 10 minutes buffer time; for 60 minutes or more, take 30 minutes buffer time i.e. plan such that you reach 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Believe me, you probably will never reach 30 minutes before – you’ll either reach 10 minutes before or just in time.

The best part about reaching beforetime is that you are calm throughout the travel; you’re relaxed when you reach there and you’re confident during the meeting. Would you like your meeting to be something like this: “Sorry Sir, main late hoon”. Reply in another character – “Late ho! Jab dekho to late late karte rehte ho. bada maza aata hai na Letne mein. Naughty boy, huh!”

Spend your waiting time by responding to important mails, reading ebooks, listening to audio books or just meditating while sitting – but in any case, don’t be upset. If you belong to cultures where punctuality is a big issue, trust me, you cannot afford to get upset every other day.

The second topic is why people who want to  on time, get late. I’ve observed this over the years – the sense of time is not right in many people.  They calculate time as if they wear underwears outside their pants – Superman you know! For example, if I’ve to go to my Uncle’s place in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai from my home in Andheri West mumbai via local train, almost everybody would say that I’d reach in about 1h30 or 40m at max because the train takes 1h20min and it’d take about 10 min or so to reach the station. Do you know how much time it takes – about 2h 10m. Why such an error in calculation? Because you think that just like a Superman, you’ll take zero time in going down your apartment to the road, then waiting to get an auto rickshaw to the station, walking from where the auto guy leaves you to the ticket booking counter to book your tickets, then to the platform where you wait for a train, then when the train reaches Kharghar station the waiting time for auto rickshaw and then the travel time from Kharghar station to my Uncle’s place. Somehow missing these steps is the primary reason why most people always give wrong time for reaching, especially to a place where they do not go frequently. Adding these steps will also solve one of the popular myths that even during normal traffic conditions, it takes longer to travel by car than by train in a city – most of the time, it doesn’t.

You need not be harsh upon yourself if you come across a situation which is beyond your control and you get late. If your intention and methods are right, situations like that will be rare.

So let’s do a wrap up:

  1. Use Google Map on your laptop or mobile to see the exact time of travel
  2. Give yourself buffer time
  3. Be prepared with something to do in case you have to wait for long
  4. Don’t miss steps when calculating time to reach a place

Every single person loves the trait of being punctual, if not in them, for sure in others. Punctuality is the basic tenet of professionalism. You might be the best in your work but if you are not punctual, you have a serious characteristic of being an unprofessional. “Sir, you’re late?” “What? I’m successful, so I can be rude, arrogant and unpunctual. You need my time and not the other way around. So I can be late. Ok? Huh”. If given a chance, nobody would want to work with people who’re regularly late.

Not just at work where money and career are involved, we should be punctual even when we’re doing a project for free or meeting may be a friend or boyfriend – girlfriend or just anybody, even if it is just for fun.

Being punctual shows that you respect the other person’s time. Everybody, each and everybody in this world, irrespective of who he or she is, deserves that respect! When we respect time, time respects us!

I hope you have a respectable time all your life! Hope this helps. Stay happy, stay blessed! Thank you!

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Ashish Lal (http://www.ashishlal.in) is an Actor-Writer-Director based in Mumbai, India.

In 2007, he founded a film production house – RedAsh Films Pvt. Ltd. (http://www.redashfilms.com) which operates from Andheri West, Mumbai.

Before venturing full time into films, he has worked for 4 years in the corporate world in New Delhi in the Data Analytics domain.

He has done his B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from IIT Delhi.
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