Expert Author Susan Leigh
When we are very busy allowing the time to be early for an appointment or a meeting can seem like an unnecessary pressure. It is almost a luxury, we could do something else more useful with the time. But sometimes it is worth the extra effort of organising ourselves in order to enjoy the benefits of arriving early.
When we are on the last-minute it is often stressful. Worries about traffic hold-ups, finding somewhere to park, locating the venue, arriving just in time in a rushed dishevelled way can all impact on our sense of calm composure. This can have us feeling at a disadvantage from the start.
Important meetings can often be stressful enough in their own right, without any other concerns. We have the considerations of needing to make a good impression, appear professional and proficient and then the final hurdle of coming away with the desired result. Arriving early can give us an advantage in several ways;
- We can clear our head. Arriving early allows us the opportunity to sit in our car and play a CD for ten minutes or stop and have a cup of coffee. It allows us time to put the stresses and other distractions of the day to the side for a while. We can take the time to focus on what we need to do next.
- We can compose ourselves, take time to check that we look the part, that everything is in order and we feel good about the image that we are presenting. Having time to relax and reduce our stress levels can be important in presenting a calm and professional impression. The first impression is often the most important is terms of setting the scene and conveying a lot about ourselves to the other person.
- We can choose to sit where we feel at an advantage. Maybe face the door so that we can gain the extra confidence of waiting and seeing them arrive, being able to prepare our greeting and feel in control. We can almost set out the scene to suit ourselves. And it avoids an uncomfortable arrival, having to look around, discover where the other person is sitting, and then having to set up our laptop computer so that it's ready.
- We can prepare our notes and any presentation in our mind. Being early provides the opportunity to read through our points, prepare questions and answers, clear away any other issues that we may have been dealing with before the meeting. We can use the time constructively to focus on this being a very important meeting, give it our full attention and commit to doing a good job.
Being early can seem an unnecessary waste of our time, but it can be a very valuable investment to make, especially when we have an important meeting or arrangement. It can enable us to appear calm, composed and professional. This allows the other person to feel that we value the appointment, have prepared for it and are able to give it our full attention. That in itself is an important benefit of being early.


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