When a plane lands and finds its gate, folks file out row by row, each waiting for those ahead of them to collect their things and go. It’s an anomaly in an otherwise asynchronous society in which unabashed self-concern is a daily vitamin we feed ourselves.
Planes ultimately disembark with order. But next time your plane lands, pay attention to that split second immediately after the “ding” of freedom. You’ll see passengers, like caged animals, jump up, rip their bags from overhead and turn for the exit… before recalling common courtesy and tribe mentality.
They ultimately remain standing at their seat and wait their turn to file out. With order.
The relative convenience of a meeting time has a direct inverse correlation to how much notice you should give someone if you plan to cancel or alter it.
For example, if you schedule a meeting with your team for 11am and you realize at 10:30 that the meeting is unnecessary or not possible for whatever reason… if you scratch it, everyone’s probably fine. They might even be happy. It’s the first half of a work day. Surprise, they just scored an empty 30 minute block to fill with other work, or an early lunch. This is especially ok if the meeting was just scheduled this morning or yesterday. If it’s been on the books for a week, it sucks a little because attendees have had to take it into consideration when building out their schedules.
On the other side, let’s say you schedule a call for midnight (it happens in startup life – probably more often than we’d like). Now, unless you’re a college freshman, that is not a “convenient” time. So, if you realize you’re going to have to cancel or push that midnight call, you better tell the other members before they throw off their circadian rhythm or set an alarm to wake up in the middle of the night. Canceling at 11:50pm is worse than having the call as scheduled even if you know you can’t hope to accomplish more than an item or two. This same thing applies to a 6am mtg.
Time is our most valuable resource. Respect others’ time and they will respect you as a person. Don’t, and they won’t. And they shouldn’t.