Pushups if Late

If you’ve ever led a group of more than a couple people, you know that timeliness is a big factor. If there’s any leeway for people to show up late, someone is going to do it every time, which means that nothing starts on time. Then when people see that things don’t start on time, they come late to compensate.

This happened on day one of our big transpacific cruise this year. Several people were late to things the first day, and it became obvious that this was going to be the standard if something wasn’t done about it.

So we came up with the idea that anyone who was late, even by a minute, would have to do one pushup for every minute late.

The problem was immediately solved. People were late once in a while, but generally just by a couple minutes. Nearing dinner we could be seen all over the ship looking at our watches, calculating the time necessary to be ready, and hustling if needed.

What’s interesting is that none of us really mind doing pushups that much. Ben showed up three hours late to something optional, but did 200 pushups that we wouldn’t have actually required him to do. But having a penalty caused all of us to be more mindful, and to treat being on time like it was important, which it was.

We still do this now. We’ll make plans to meet somewhere and mention “pushups if late”.

Being late is a lot worse than it seems. It wastes someone else’s time and shows a disrespect for them and their schedule, even if you don’t mean it like that. If you’re late for a group of ten people, you’re wasting minutes for nine different people!

There’s no deeper message in today’s post– just a suggestion to implement pushups-if-late with your friends. And an offer to my friends and family members who read this post: if I’m ever late for something, I will do a pushup for each minute.


Photo is us waiting for my favorite Okonimiyaki place in Osaka to open. Check it out if you go to Osaka!

Currently spending time with my family in Boston! Highlights so far have been tea time every day, playing open face Chinese poker, and watching MMA fights together. Today we’re going to a shooting range to learn from my ex-military brother.

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