Always Be Five Minutes Early

One of the sayings I have always resonated with is, “If you’re five minutes early, you’re already ten minutes late.” When my wife and I are meeting friends for supper, I’m worried about being late, so we try to leave in time to be there early. Part of what drives my need to be early is an enormous sense of urgency I feel.

While attending university, I never pulled an “all-nighter.” My sense of urgency meant that I finished writing a paper well before the due date. And in my current work, if a project or task has been highlighted as valuable to us – even in a small way – my sense of urgency kicks in and the task is almost always finished early or on time.

Viewing my own workload and how tasks are completed within our organization through this lens has served us well. We get things done! Not when it’s convenient or when the time suits us better, but now! I believe that this sense of urgency is one of the key components of our success and achievements.

We get things done! Not when it’s convenient or when the time suits us better, but now! 

Given my increased speaking schedule, I have been stepping back from some of the day-to-day duties of running our organization. Because of this, I have been more intentional about sharing with our other leaders the importance of continuing our culture of working with a sense of urgency. It can’t just be me who works this way, it needs to be something that becomes embedded in our corporate culture.

If you or your organization is struggling to accomplish what needs to be done – if you’re feeling like you’re always one step behind – my encouragement to you is to increase your sense of urgency. Live by the rule, “If you’re five minutes early, you’re already ten minutes late.”

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Randy Grieser, Author, Speaker

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