As I’m driving in my car right now, I’m thinking to myself how late for an appointment I am going to be. I have no excuse why I’m going to be late.

So far today I’ve been working in my office and I made some lunch. I really didn’t have much going on, and certainly nothing that couldn’t wait until later. Nevertheless, here I am driving 50 miles an hour through the streets of Los Angeles because I’m running late.

Then when you arrive late to the appointment, you always make up some excuse why you were unavoidably late. Very often you blame it on traffic. “Man, I tell ya. Traffic was just AWFUL today!”

Guess what? Traffic is awful every day in Los Angeles. So you always have a built-in excuse. While you can always blame your tardiness on traffic, though, it’s really your own fault that you’re late.

You didn’t leave early enough. You got caught up in something else in which you shouldn’t have let yourself get caught up. Whatever the reason is that you were late, the bottom line is that you didn’t get to where you needed to be on time.

Being late says something about you. It says that you don’t respect someone else’s time.

Say you agree to meet someone at 3:00 pm. If you show up at 3:20 pm and blame your tardiness on traffic, what you are really telling that person is “I didn’t respect your time enough to leave early enough to get here on time. My time was more valuable to me, so I really needed to send out those couple of emails I could have sent later on (or whatever it might be).”

Being on time says something about your character and who you are. It says that you have respect for other people and their time.

So the next time you have an appointment or a date, make sure you leave enough time so that you don’t arrive late. Save the personal stuff for when you get home later.