One of my pet peeves is when others waste my time. It's always been a sore spot for me. When you really think about it though, it makes sense. Time is the most valuable gift you can give someone. It's a piece of your life that you can never get back, so when people don't appreciate it, boy does it sting.

Some people can be scared to upset you, hurt your feelings, or might be too weak to be honest. You need to be the one to check in with them to ensure they will be on time and present. You might be thinking, "No, if they don't show up it's their loss and I am not their babysitter." If you want to lead with your ego, that's fine. Unfortunately, an ego boost won't save you from wasting an hour of your day waiting around for someone who doesn't show up, the only person losing out in that situation is you.

When I was hiring the first employees for my swimwear brand Bikini Luxe, I would set up individual meetings at a local coffee shop for each scheduled interview. I liked doing this as it was a comfortable setting, and gave me time to meet with people individually. What I quickly learned, was that some people not only didn't show, but also didn't have the nerve to cancel the interview they scheduled just days before if something else came up.

Over time, I learned that I had to not only confirm, but also communicate with them the day of to ensure they were going to show up. It wasn't that I was so desperate for that one person to show, but I was set on saving myself from wasting hours of my day. Being stood up sucks, but it's even more painful when you've got an overflowing plate of responsibilities and are instead busy waiting around for someone who isn't even going to show.

Here's how you can train others to not waste your time:

Use a service to schedule and remind them of the meeting.

There are a number of apps and services that offer some sort of scheduling feature, however I had used one in particular in the past when reserving slots for podcast recordings, and thought it could be great for scheduling interviews.

Sending emails back and forth can be chaotic, so I started using Calendly to open up my schedule to give the gift of choice. When someone is allowed to set their own time, they are more apt to be there as it's convenient for them. I also like that it sends over a reminder email if you choose to turn the feature on, which will remind the person you're meeting with of the time and date they reserved. Appointments automatically sync to my calendar so I have all the details on my phone, which is handy for keeping track of my day.

Text them the morning of to re-confirm.

For whatever reason, even after all of that some people still were a no show. So, I began adding another layer of defense which is a morning text to clarify my expectations of them for the day. I might say something like, "Hey Jane Doe, just checking if we're still on for 3pm today at Starbucks?"

What this does is opens up the door for someone who is too timid to back out last minute to properly convey that they will actually have to cancel. This quick text takes seconds to send, but could save you from committing to a meeting where you'll be wasting your time instead of being productive at work. 

This sometimes gets a little tricky, what happens if they had confirmed via email but don't respond to the follow up text? I've found that if they don't text back, especially over a few hours time, they probably won't show up. Luckily for me I worked very close to the coffee shop so I would just stay at the office, and if they did end up showing up and asking where I was, I would run over and meet them. This actually never happened though, so I would venture to say that if they don't reply to your confirmation text, you shouldn't plan on meeting with them later in the day. 

Time truly is the best gift you can give someone. You're the only person who will keep an eye on how it's spent, and if you're getting the most value out of it. By taking a few simple precautions you can prevent others from wasting your time, and continue to be productive and happy throughout your day. Remember, you're never going to be younger than you are at this very moment, make the most of it.

Published on: Mar 29, 2018