According to Urban Dictionary, Arab Time is defined as ‘Arriving 1 1/2 to 3 hours late to any event, regardless of its importance when you are from any middle eastern country.’
Many of us have been guilty of following the ‘Arab Time’ more times than we’d like to admit. It has more or less become a standard expectation that if an event is slated to start at a certain time, it will definitely start 15-30 minutes later. So, you leave home at the ‘supposed’ start time to make it on time for the ‘real’ start time, the event inevitably runs late and cycle continues.
This could seem really confusing for non-Arabs, especially in professional settings. Professionally, Arab Timing is generally discouraged and for many, punctuality must be re-learned.
But there are certain times the Arab Time could actually be used to your advantage. Here’s how
1. Seeming more ‘put together’ than you actually are
When everyone around you is on Arab Time, all you have to do to seem like you are a lot more sorted and professional is to just be on time! Be it a social gathering or a work event, a sure way to get noticed is to be among the few people who actually show up right on time. It also shows that you actually respect the hosts and value their time and efforts. Well, that is definitely not the only thing to help you stand out, you’d obviously need to put in a lot more effort, but it’s a good start.
2. More time to deal with the unexpected
The best thing about Arab Timing is that it gives us more prep time to deal with unexpected things that may come up. Especially, when planning an event or an important meeting, the extra few minutes when people are running late, could come in handy in case of unexpected things that may go wrong the last minute, whether it is technology failing on you or traffic being a nuisance. But that is not to say that you leave certain tasks for the last minute.
3. Ticking things off your do to list
Waiting on people often can be frustrating, since you lose so much precious time. But it doesn’t always have to be time wasted. During those few minutes, you could definitely accomplish a lot. Little things (that are not any less important) like replying to a couple of emails and clearing out your inbox, making a few calls or even catching up on some reading could be a few ways to put all the ‘waiting time’ to some good use.