I live in a big city with lots of traffic. The issue with the traffic is that not only do you waste time dealing with it, you also waste time to avoid it.
Here’s the scenario: you have a meeting 10 miles away, on the opposite side of a major city, in 3 hours at 5:00PM. You know that you have a 50% chance of dealing with traffic and being very late. Most people would just leave about 30 minutes earlier to deal with the traffic. The problem here is that you waste maximum productivity time even if there is zero traffic. Instead of sitting in traffic, you’re sitting in the parking lot for 30 minutes trying to find stuff to do in your GTD system
I don’t do that.
I leave 3 hours early. Whenever I finish a meeting, I look at my schedule to see where my next meeting will be. Even if it is 3 hours later, I immediately head to the very nearest working center (usually a Starbucks) so that I know I am only 5 minutes away. I can then maximize my working time from a comfortable workspace and leave for my meeting at the last possible minute.
I write this at 6:45 AM sitting in a Starbucks in a heavy-traffic area waiting for a 8:00AM meeting. I didn’t hit any traffic this morning when I arrived at 5:30AM. I am maximizing my highest quality work time and will leave about 5-6 minutes before my meeting because there is a very finite amount of trafficable road between me and that meeting place.