TIMELINESS
  • 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

COMMENTARY
Time is a fascinating subject. When I was in middle school, while sitting in a "boring" class, time was my greatest enemy. I couldn't wait to leave but the clock mounted on the wall was telling me that I would never leave. Fast-forward to another day in middle school, we'll call it Saturday, time moved by so fast that I felt like I blinked, and it was Monday morning again. 

Obviously, looking retrospectively at time is not a revelation in understanding the concept of time. Keeping with my middle school example, History is a subject dedicated to events that has happened in the past. If you are a fan of history, then you know that time is one thing that everyone is subjected to. This begs the question; how does one make use of the time that they have?  
 
One of Funds For Learning's GuideMarks is Timeliness.One defining phrase of this GuideMark is "Delivering on time so that others have adequate time to meet their obligations". This brings to focus that timeliness takes into consideration other people's own priorities and needs. Timeliness means other people matter. This article's focus isn't on how other cultures understand timeliness; however, this article gives a great overview of how different cultures understand time and how we can and should approach deadlines with people of different cultures. If you don't want to read something, check out the movie Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, and see how time is viewed in a thoroughly unique way. Or watch Back to the Future if you just want a throwback movie about messing with time. I actually can give you a list of my favorite movies and books about time because we, as in the human race, are fascinated by time and want to look at it artistically to try and understand it.  
 
Whether or not you understand or agree with the varying cultural concepts of time, the takeaway is that if you have a relationship (personal or professional) with someone at some point you will need to provide something to that person. That person will have an expectation of when they need whatever it is they need. At least in North America, how and when you provide what is needed can speak volumes of how you view the importance of your relationship. If you fail to provide what was requested, you can inadvertently cause that person to fail to provide what they need to provide. This circles back to my point that timeliness means other people matter. What we do or don't do affects other people. It really is that simple.  
 
If there is one thing that I remember from that horrible time in my life called middle school, it is that time passes quickly. Time is a resource that has varying degrees of availability depending on the person you are talking to. So, we should respond with respect by being timely in our fulfillment of requests and needs that are required of us.
 
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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.

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GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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