What if you never had to apologize again for being late? (Especially to a client).
Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t spend the first few minutes of a meeting recovering from the stress induced drive/walk/sprint over to your next appointment. What if you could be really present for the meeting?
In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown suggests a really simple approach for making such a thing happen: Create a Buffer. More specifically, a 50% buffer.
For example, if you think it will take you 20 minutes to transport yourself, add an additional 10 minutes (20 x 50% = 10) to the trip. Assume it will take you 30 minutes to get to your destination.
When I first came across McKeown’s approach I thought, but what about all the time I’m going to be wasting when I’m now the one waiting! But then logic kicked in: I have a smartphone. So in all reality, if I were waiting a couple of minutes, (assuming nothing unexpected popped up along the way) the likelihood of being able to bang out a couple of emails or catch up on some other work is very high. More importantly, with the extra time, I could take a minute or two to orient myself which would essentially minimize the chaos that is created by tardiness. Without the chaos, I could focus on creating a more comfortable space to engage in. A space where learning, sharing, and understanding could flourish.
Creating a buffer is such a simple thing, one that is easy to overlook, but the potential benefit it brings to the overall interaction is what makes it so important not to.