Appointments: 3 ways to reduce stress and being late

Traffic Jam

This morning I had a breakfast meeting scheduled for 8:30 at the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham city centre. From my house at that time I would expect the journey to take no more than 45 minutes usually less so I set off at 7:30. So far so bally good.

Let me digress a little. My personal brand dictates that I a) arrive at least 15 minutes early for any meeting and b) if I am meeting somebody in a public place I always like to send them a text saying that I have arrived and where I am sitting. I firmly believe that this puts people at their ease which is a great start to a meeting. Not really rocket science.

So back to the story. M42 running well. M6 going north running well. M6 running north then at a stand-still. This situation continued mile after tortuous mile meaning that I had to do that thing I hate everybody else doing – pushing in at the front. Uuugggggghhhhh!

No question I was going to be cutting it very fine. As I am now at a standstill (broken down vehicle on the Aston Expressway) and since I did not have Diane’s  number (my breakfast date) I decided to call the Hotel du Vin. I explained the situation and asked them to let Diane know that I was probably going to be late. True to du Vin form that is exactly what they did – bless their little French hearts.

As it turned out once passed the first and second broken down vehicles I had a smooth run and managed to get one of the free spaces outside the hotel. I arrived at bang on 8:30.

So what, you may ask. Well here’s what: –

  1. Always leave 15 to 20 minutes spare when arranging meetings. Any form of transport that involve engines, roads or tracks cannot be trusted.
  2. Always have the number to hand of the person you are meeting or the venue.
  3. When you get there (early hopefully) drop them a text to say that you have arrived and where you are sitting.

Small things that cost nothing but will reduce stress (yours and theirs), reduce the number of times you are late and therefore strengthen your personal brand. Voila!

Image Courtesy of Naypong / Free Digital


Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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Posted in Efficiency and Effectiveness, Personal Brand
3 comments on “Appointments: 3 ways to reduce stress and being late
  1. John Halton says:

    Lawyers, of course, have a terrible reputation for punctuality. Other lawyers, that is. ***cough***

    I’m sure that’s partly the tyranny of the billable hour making us feel we have to squeeze every last drop out of the time available. Budgeting to arrive at meetings 15-20 minutes early – I literally almost typed “0.3 to 0.4 hours”, there! – make the meeting feel more “expensive”. But you’re right: our “personal brand” (and indeed corporate brand) is more important.

  2. Richard S says:

    The other tip is never to answer the office phone on your way out to a meeting.

    My mother used to say that Punctuality is the politeness of Princes.

  3. Mike Ames says:

    Good call Richard – just another way to be late!

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Mike Ames

Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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