“Just in time” is a very popular practice by individuals and companies for punctuality, optimum use of time, productivity enhancement, quality improvement and cost/inventory control!
Dell USA, iconic manufacturer of personal computers, revolutionized its manufacturing method by introducing “just in time” inventory from early years of its inception in late 1980s and that resulted in solidly cutting down its operating cost, capturing sizeable global market share and catapulting it to multibillion dollar giant. But, its too much focus on “just in time” did not keep it “ahead of time” with technological trends and consumer tendencies. So, its decline started since year 2005 and lost its leadership position to Lenovo and HP.
My experience from extensive travel in Germany shows that most locals are very passionate about punctuality. They don’t want to be too early or too late in anything that they do; it has to be precise within few seconds – a fantastic sense of just in time, even over weekends! This compels them to be in rush most of the time. It makes them hypersensitive and seems to be the cause of high blood pressure and cardiac problems for many!!
I know of several corporate bosses, who are stickler to time. Some of them plan their meetings back to back – one meeting ends at 12.15 p.m. and another one starts at 12.20 p.m. as an example. If the first meeting does not conclude in time, the boss would in any case adjourn it, even if it means that some parts of discussion becomes redundant. Such time control no doubt directly saves time of the boss but makes it far ineffective for him/her and team on the whole!
People, who are stickler to time, tend to be temperamental and even toxic. They often end up spending lot of time in unnecessary arguments. So, obsession about punctuality or penchant for “Just in time” seems to spell both good and bad! It is needless to mention that one, who is late, loses!
Why “Just in time” is inefficient on the whole!
Ideally and on paper, just in time is supposed to give best efficiency; but practically speaking, it is laden with lot of intangible issues.
“Just ahead of time” is far more holistic!
You can make a world of difference by not planning for a precise deadline or cutting it fine; instead plan and work for a span of few minutes ahead of that timeline! All of us in rush of our routine fail to realize great advantages, which “Being ahead of time” brings. Our usual surmise “Oh, I am short on time; cannot waste a minute” is in fact a bunk. We don’t realize, how much in reality we are wasting by rushing and then tripping.
By being ahead of time, I don’t mean that you should keep lot of margin in your hands. Be ahead of time by a span, which creates a comfort level for you and takes into contingencies that can hold you back – usually it would be 5 to 10 minutes.
There is a complete paradigm shift and change in frame of mind in this approach:
So in net sum, by being just ahead of time, you would not only go ahead of your team or rivals but also be an early and easy winner!