May 19, 2013

Imagine this. The next time you’re late to meet someone, you owe them money. But here’s the catch, the money doesn’t go in their pocket. The money goes to their favorite charity.

The other evening, my friend and I were scheduled to meet. (Side note, my friend is a busy guy, doing good things. He’s just happens to be the first victim of my idea. We’ve all been late before.) As I sat there with a few unexpected and unaccounted for minutes to spare I had this thought, which I tweeted:

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No need for an IOU post-it note. Square to the rescue. The transaction can happen right then and there. Fair and square.

People have to pay the consequences of being late but this is a positive way to do so. It’s already happening with some service-based companies like doctor’s offices, salons, etc. How long will it be before we charge others when they’re late and work that into contracts.

As the leader of my company, I realize it’s important to set precedence but I also realize it can be hard to point out when a supervisor is late to a meeting. If a company adopts this concept and there’s a universal understanding that people will pay when they’re late, there’s no need to worry about that uncomfortable conversation.

How can you apply this to your life? Is this scalable? What if a large organization took a dollar out of your paycheck for each minute you were late and then they took five dollars for every minute after five minutes? Our time is valuable. It’s the most precious commodity anyone will ever have. When we waste our time on something, that’s unfortunate. Our loss. When we steal someone else’s time, that’s another story. We should treat our time as an asset.

Think of what you can accomplish in one minute. What about five or ten minutes? Better yet, think about what your favorite cause can do with some additional cash.

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