There are so many expressions around this: the early bird catches the worm; first-come, first- served, etc.
I will share some personal examples with you of why it’s usually better to be early vs late:
Kids do remember: Last week, my younger daughter had her spring concert in the morning. My husband was traveling on business and could not be there. I wanted to make sure I was there as early as possible to get a good seat. One of my friends who came later was amazed that I was able to get the first row. “I hopped in the car to drive to school shortly after my daughter got on the bus.”, I told her. My daughter’s smile was all worth it because she should see me and knew I would capture the video for my husband to see.
Sitting at the airport is less stressful: I will never forget the time when my husband and I were leaving for our honeymoon to Greece. We lived in the city at the time and left the house at 2:00pm for 5:30pm flight. It seemed like we had enough time, but it was raining, taxi shift turnover (which means no one wants to drive to the airport) and it was a Friday. Long story short, it took us a while to get a cab and we had lots of traffic. The cab driver kept on saying “I don’t think you are going to make it.” over and over again. My stress level was high. We did make it, but I think it was because the plane was delayed. After this experience, I now always make sure I leave even more time to get to the airport. I would rather just be there early, sit around and relax.
First impressions do make a difference: It is always better to be early for an interview. This is a no brainer. Make sure you know how to get there and leave enough buffer time. No excuses are acceptable showing up late for an interview.
I can’t say I am perfect with being on time, but I try to teach my kids it is better to be early rather than late (or call to say you will be running late): be respectful of other people’s time, be less stressed and make a good first impression.