We all know how annoying it can be to go to a scheduled appointment and be left waiting in the reception area for months. Even though we are tempted to leave, the fact that we need the services, keep us there.
A few years ago I confronted a professional whose staff was frustrated and clients were annoyed because they had waited and waited and waited not even knowing if the professional was coming to the office that day. His reply was surprising because rather than focussing on the problem and the fact that his customer service was absent, he responded by talking about how much good he was doing in another area of his life. He presented as an individual who was totally lacking in empathy for those who expected him to follow through on the commitments that he had made to them.
I suggested that if he informed his staff about activities perhaps they would better be able to deal with the disgruntled. My suspicions are that he not only lost clients but also his employees as what was important to them definitely was not a priority for him.
Some people arrive late for appointments on a regular basis.
One of the candidates in our mayoralty election admitted that she is frequently late but explained that by saying that she is a very busy person. That didn't go over well. Most people think that they are very busy people. She lost the election.
Some people associate the word "professional" not with academics but with the behaviours that a person demonstrates. They might say "That person isn't very professional" when they are rude or inappropriate in some way.
Time management means that you take control of your schedule and do what you say you will do. You arrive on time and follow the agenda. You arrange your life so that you get things done when it is due. You balance home and family so that nothing is neglected.
You see, time management primarily comes from the inside. There can be occasions when weather or emergencies interfere with your plan but, these are the exceptions. And even if you are unable to follow through as expected, it would still be professional of you to notify those who are depending on you at that time so that they are not wondering what happened. Most of professionalism involves having respect - for you, other people and the promises that you have made.