In the event planning world, time management is everything. It’s the Alpha and Omega to your event. It determines the set up, break down and program length. It’s key information that determines your event’s success. At times it can be nerve racking because nothing seems to go right when you’re off schedule, it can throw your planning, vendors and staff complete off track. However, at the end of the day it needs the most attention out of everything on your checklist. Often times black men and women have been stigmatized for having poor time management skills and typically running late for just about everything. We are right on time for work, a few minutes late for church and in free before 11PM at the club. Attending most black operated events its bound to start late, not completely dressed with reliable crew, AV and program details but the show must go on.
When’s the last time you were on time?
Throughout the year you can almost count on receiving an invitation to someone’s wedding, baby shower or even a business networking event. You have the time, date and location information right in your hands with enough notice to prepare for the upcoming event. That’s the whole purpose of invitations and save the dates to keep it on your calendar, to prepare and attend. Yet your commitment is weakened by other priorities.
Ask yourself, When was the last time I made it on time to the movies? Most people think I have at least 5-10 minutes of previews so I have some time. That’s great but did you forget you have to find parking? Maybe need to purchase tickets at the window? Or may even want popcorn, these are all factors that cut into your time. The movie is on a time commitment so it’s going to start without you regardless.
CP Time vs. Fashionably Late
So what’s the difference between running on CP Time vs Fashionably Late? CP time refers to Colored People time, black men and women being late. While fashionably late refers to a person tending to other public affairs but has a social pass to show up fairly late to an event. CP time seems to have more negative take as oppose to fashionably late. Although CP time has a negative outlook it seems to be the running joke of blacks when gathered together.
Guilty As Charged
I admit I am guilty! Right hand raised, I’m almost never on time for things that may be going on in my life. From the time I was born I have been running on CP time. My wedding started late, I showed up late to my own baby shower and sometimes just a little late for work (coffee is a must). I can’t tell you how many times I left the house and thought I would make it downtown with no problem and get caught in traffic. I guess you can say I am a proud sponsor of CP time because I can’t seem to get it right. Coming from a military family and married to an Army veteran you would think I have the time management skills down pack, well I’m a slow coming out the blocks in the morning and finish strong every day. Time management to me is like having selective hearing, I pick and choose things I want to be on time for. I find myself even prioritizing things I want to be on time for. When working with clients I’m ready 30 minutes prior to our meet time prepared and ready for assistance. If I have an interview I’m leaving the house an hour and half early to fight through traffic and locate parking. I know when it’s unacceptable to be late and when I might have a little play room.
Let’s squash the stereotype
It’s time to do better ladies and gentleman, with me included. We have got to find another way to positivity represent ourselves as a culture, as a people of many talents. In my field it’s considered typical for those of color to plan on being late. Try in small doses practicing being on time. Start with friends or family than gradually move yourself up to small events. Once you create a habit it’s always a blessing to teach others. Together we can turn this label into an unknown habit among us.