Why You Should Be Early
There's only two things that you really have to get right: be accurate and be early. In all things, be early, but only after being accurate. I gotta be clear on this, I just wanna say it. Being early is less important than being accurate, alright? I'm not giving you conflicting information here. Being accurate's the most important, but then being early, okay? Now, there's three things I want you to think about in being early. I want you to get to work early, I want you to turn things in early, and I want you to leave work early. Those are the three things we're gonna talk about when it comes to being early. The first one, get to work early. If you wanna be amazing at your job, get to work early. 95% of your problems in the workplace will vanish if you get to work early. If you don't believe me, try it, and if you get to work early tomorrow and you still have problems, my prescription is simple, get to work earlier the next day and keep doing that until you finally find the place where ...
you can get caught up and your problems go away, and then you can start to scale back. But I promise you very simply, getting to work early solves all your problems. Oh, wait, what did I say? 95% of your problems, okay. 95% of your problems are solved if you get to work early. If you get in early, you can read all your emails. If you get to work early, you can send out to your team reminders of what you need from them that day. It also gives you a chance to check your calendar, calm down. If you're anything like me, you know going into work is like a whole experience where you put on a cape and you're playing a role and it's like, I'm Justin at work now. And so, I need my moment where I sit quietly and just kind of drink my tea, look at my favorite website for five minutes, look at my calendar three times, send out the emails, it's quiet, everything's going okay. And the truth is, 15 minutes early is worth 30 minutes during the rest of your day. 30 minutes early is worth an hour. If you get into work an hour early, it's worth two hours during the work day 'cause no one's distracting you. You're just there to get stuff done, and especially as you move on in your career, you're in more and more meetings, there's less and less time to get things done. And we all know what happens, you have good intentions, you go into work, you think between 10 and you're gonna get this project done, and then someone walks in a and goes I need you right now. From 10 to 11 we gotta work on this, and you're like but I had time to plan this other... And you get behind and all of a sudden people are complaining. They're like why can't Justin keep up? And it's like, I had good intentions. So, my point is I've learned you can't count on those chunks of time in your calendar. The only thing you're responsible for is the time before everyone else gets in. Now, you may not like it. That's okay, that's your right. I wish you good luck int the office. I don't know how to be successful unless you get in early. So, go find someone else, go find another class, do it your own way, but I'm telling you I do have a cure all and it's get into the office early. Okay, the second thing I wanna talk about is turn in your work early. Now, turning in your work early is really really important, and I wanna give you kind of a grade system that will bring this to life. My feeling is if you turn in your work 24 hours in advance of a deadline, that's an A grade. You're getting an A if you turn it in 24 hours in advance. A B grade is you turn it in the same day as the deadline, but a little bit earlier, that's a B grade. A C grade is you turn it in at the deadline. I just gave you a C grade for turning it in when someone asked you to turn it in. By the way, you're gonna pass, you're gonna keep going, life keeps going on when you get Cs, it's okay, but that's what you're doing. You're playing at a C level and I wanna let you know. Maybe that's okay with you and that's just how it's going, but if you're sitting there and you're going hey, how do I get ahead? How do I get a promotion? How do I go get that extra money? How do I get out of here faster? It's not by hitting deadlines. You've gotta hit it before the deadline, and notice an A is the day before. Yes, it takes a little bit of extra planning. Yes, you've gotta work a little bit harder, but trust me, it pays off. Now, a D is you missed the deadline, right? You didn't hit the deadline and you gave no warning. That is just the worst thing possible, and the whole point is I wanna make this point 'cause you're gonna sit there and go well, Justin, I can't always get things 24 hours in advance, so how am I ever gonna get an A? That's okay. It's okay to not do it every single time. Just like these little pebbles on the picture here, it adds up over time. You don't win the battle just one report at a time, you build up little pebbles along the way that are building your reputation and are going I turn things in early, I'm reliable. Because what happens when you turn things in early? What you're saying to the rest of the organization is I'm organized, I know what I'm doing, you can count on me, I'm ready for more information, I'm ready for more responsibility 'cause I'm turning these things in on time. And the truth is, even if... I would say, easily, I'm never the smartest person in the room. I haven't been throughout my career, but the truth is, I just turn things in on time and it's accurate, and I get the cool projects because my boss says I can rely on Justin. It's not about being the smartest, it's about being reliable, and turning it in early has all these coded messages that you're sending out to the world. Now, I wanna tell you something else. You can miss a deadline and still get an A. The way you do that is you, in advance, tell your boss or tell whoever it is, hey, I'm gonna miss this deadline, here's why, and here's my proposed new deadline. Let me know what you think. I'm missing the deadline. I'm not achieving what they asked me to do, but because I'm thinking in advance, I'm simply communicating I'm gonna miss it so I'm saying I'm organized, I know I'm gonna miss it, and then I'm also explaining why, and giving them the why helps them understand it's not 'cause I'm doing something wrong, it's maybe because I have a different priority. It also gives them permission to say stop that, I need this. And then the third piece is by offering them a new solution, you're not making it their problem. So, you can miss the deadline and still get an A. The entire point of the working world is no surprises. No surprises, never surprise your boss, never surprise your coworker, none of that, no surprises. Okay, so that's turn in your work early. We talked about the grading system you can understand. The third one is leave work early. Don't make the mistake of believing that if you work late, people are gonna think you're a hard worker. Did anyone's dad or mom tell them when they went off to work hey, make sure you never leave before your boss? My dad told me that. That was terrible advice because when I look around the organization and I see someone working late, you know what I think? I think, wow, they can't keep up with the work. Wow, they're not very good at their job, or, wow, they have no personal life. I don't think they're gonna be able to add a lot of value to our culture and our company. That's what you're saying when you're working late. So, I hope, you know, I see some fear in some people's eyes. Maybe you had the wrong strategy, but we're here to fix that. Working late is not something to aspire to. So, instead, and this is very counterintuitive, leave work early. I'm telling you you can leave work early to get ahead in life, and what you do is you get in, you do your work, and then you swing by your boss' desk and you go, hey, I'm leaving, I got everything done. Is there anything else you need from me? No, okay, cool, and I leave. And guess what? I just got points 'cause I just went up to my boss, I'm like I'm on top of everything and I'm gettin' on with my life. And otherwise, if I just walked out, the boss has no idea. They're not thinking about me, I'm not getting credit. I just got secret credit at work 'cause I just said... Without walking up to my boss and being like hey, boss, I'm really good at my job. I'm totally on top of things, I get in early, I take care of everything, I'm really enjoying this, and you can really rely on me. I never say all of that. Instead, what I say is hey, I'm done with everything, do you need anything from me? I'm offering help. Again, I'm saying to them I'm good at my job, I could take on more responsibility. So, when you're thinking about promoting someone, think of me. Hey, you've got a cool project coming? Hey, I remember Justin said he was already done with work yesterday at 4:30, cool. It's about get in, get your job done, and get on with your life, okay? That's what's really important, and the thing is you don't have to ask people for permission 'cause now you're making it complicated and they're like, well, if I give you permission then is it a company policy, and what do I need to do? Don't ask permission, just do it. You teach people how you wanna be treated. So, if everyone in the office knows I get in early and I leave early, then at 6:00 they're not gonna look around for me and be like, hey, where's Justin? We need his help on something. They're gonna go, oh, Justin's not here 'cause he's off doing other things. He took care of his business. So, don't ask permission, just do it, okay? So, that's what I'm talking about when I talk about be early. Get to work early, turn in your work early, and leave early, okay? I hope that sounds good to everybody.