In some ways, I’m a very reliable person. I’m very loyal. And I’m very committed to my work. But in most other things, such as returning phone calls and e-mails in a timely manner, showing up for appointments on time, and meeting deadlines, I’m not so good. I make up for my deficiency by apologizing profusely and then giving more than I promised in the first place.
That said, I’m the first to admit that having a reputation for reliability is an extremely valuable asset. So here’s what I’m doing about it…
- To improve my record of returning calls and e-mails on time, I’m blocking out adequate time each day on my calendar for doing nothing but that. I shut the door. I tolerate no interruptions. I get to it and get it done.
- To make sure I get to appointments on time, I’m reviewing my calendar first thing each morning and e stimating – realistically – how long it will take to get to each one. To make it easier to leave on time, I’m making it a point not to start on a major task 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be on my way.
- If I am being asked to do something that I know I won’t be able to do right away, I don’t put it off in the hope that I ‘ll find the time to try later in the day. I r espond to the request immediately (during my blocked-out time), saying that I intend to have it done by a certain date. Then I put that deadline on my task list.
If you, too, have reliability “issues,” I suggest you do the same.[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]