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Redeem the Time

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For years I have heard about the ‘Vincentian time’. It is often the excuse given when one shows up late for a function, or when a function commences late. It gives the impression that there is the time, and then there is the ‘Vincentian time’. It is so unfortunate that the misuse of this valuable resource is so embedded into our culture as a people, that it is evident in every single aspect of our society. In fact, I am sure you can testify of this blatant disrespect of time being manifested in many organisations both private and public.

Scarcely can one make an appointment, arrive on time and be seen at the scheduled time. Why don’t our business professionals see the need to do anything expeditiously? I can recall waiting in a line for two hours to be served, while the employees appear to be at ease and unfazed as they casually pussyfoot around the establishment. When will our corporate leaders stop enabling ‘Mr and Mrs Latetum’ and insist on time logs, so that all staff can be more accountable for the time for which they are being paid?

Managers must realise that every wasted minute costs the organisation dearly. The consistent late employee, the employee who arrives early but spends more time with office gossip than working, and the employee that takes the extra ten to fifteen minutes every day during their lunch break are all embezzling from the organisation. Note that, many of these same employees are the ones that are paid the most in overtime wages. It would suffice to say that, if this misappropriation of time occurs under your watch as a leader, you are as much at fault as the perpetrators. Even the bible warns us to make full use of our time.

A prudent manager, along with time logs, will encourage staff to prepare daily to-do lists to measure efficiency and monitor progress. The manager will introduce time costing, to reduce procrastination since employees who are aware of the monetary value of their time, are less prone to waste it. Lastly, management will promote better organisation skills among employees, as more organised employees are more productive.

Let us forget about this ‘Vincentian time’ and be more conscious of the time we have. Time is money and when it is wasted, it is gone forever.

Dr. Wendyann Richardson is a Management Consultant who specializes in corporate governance, business operations management and refining of skills through training. She can be reached at [email protected]