• Fulfilling needs at the right moment with the proper use of resources
  • Completing responsibilities punctually and at the correct pace
  • Delivering on time so that others have adequate time to meet their obligations


Have you ever heard the expression “timing is everything”? It’s wrong. Close, but wrong. Timing isn’t everything. For example, if I submit an E-rate funding application on time, but I don’t do it correctly, it doesn’t matter all that much that I got it in on time. Timing isn’t everything.

The statement should be “timing impacts everything”. I can’t think of much in my life (work or play) that doesn’t depend on timing. Here are some personal examples:

  • Pulling my son’s tooth.
  • Wishing a friend happy birthday.
  • Combing my hair.
  • Paying taxes.

These all are tasks that I should do, but each of these events is completely dependent on my having the right timing. Too early, or too late, and it doesn’t make sense. For example, I shouldn’t pull my son’s tooth before it's loose. That would be bad, even detrimental to him. Timing isn’t everything, but it impacts everything.

Therefore, rather than thinking about timeliness in terms of meeting deadlines, I prefer to think of it as proper pacing. Picture a dance. You would not evaluate a dancer based solely on their ability to end their dance on the right beat at the end of the song. You would look at all of their steps, from beginning to end. Did they start at the right point? Were their steps in sync with the music? Did their motions match the speed and tempo of the song? That is the picture of timeliness I have. Starting at the right time; making the right moves when you need to; and finishing strong at the right moment.

At Funds For Learning, when we consider providing our service in a timely manner, we aren’t talking about just meeting a deadline. We have to do that. But timeliness means that we are starting our work at the right time, and pacing it properly, and ending it at the right time with work that is done correctly, having made good use of all our resources along the way.

Timing isn’t everything, but it impacts everything. I hope this GuideMark is coming at just the right time to encourage you.


Key Words and Phrases

At the right time; Punctual; Convenient; Prompt; In time; Well-timed; Occurring at a suitable time.

Opposite Terms

Tardy; Too Late; Missed Chance.


GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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