There are few things worse than having an appointment or a meeting somewhere that you have to be at, only you are stuck in traffic or waiting for a bus or sitting on a train that can´t get there fast enough. We are all guilty of this at one time or another – estimating the amount of time that we need to get somewhere, but not actually giving ourselves enough time to accommodate the traffic or the weather or changes in schedules or any one of a million other things that can make a trip take longer than we expect it to.
I´m going to use an example which is almost certainly going to get me in trouble, but I will weather that storm for my loyal readers. You´re welcome. My partner is taking her master´s degree, and we live close enough to the university that she can get there on a short bus ride. A couple of times in the last couple of weeks she has left to make the short walk to the bus stop but has come back several minutes later because the bus came early or she was a little late or something happened that caused her to miss her bus. She had checked the schedule online and she was on time, but something happened and she missed the bus. In these cases she wasn´t in a dire hurry to get to school, but is she had been she would have had to scramble to head to another bus stop, or to grab the car and find parking at the university, or to get a ride (if I´m feeling generous). Regardless, she will almost certainly arrive at school late, and she will be in a harried state of mind because of the confusion. Neither of those things are friends of productivity.
The best boost to productivity you can give when you need to travel somewhere is to give yourself more time than you think you need. Much more time. If you have to make a drive that you estimate will take you 20 minutes, give yourself 40. At least. That way, you will probably arrive on time (you have a much better chance, at least), you will be more relaxed when you do get there, and if you have a few extra minutes because of your extra allowed travel time you can use it to prepare more, and that will allow you to be more productive. Doubling your estimated travel time is an investment in productivity.