Traffic Hack – Give Yourself a Head Start


Traffic can ruin a plan. An important part of being on time is realizing getting where you are going will probably take longer than you expect.

Punctuality is important to success in your work and personal life. Studies show that people who are generally punctual are more successful. I think consistency is the key. Being on time “some of the time” doesn’t make the impression that you are serious, trust-worthy or committed. As Dan Kennedy, author of No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs, “Someone who cannot keep appointments on time, cannot keep scheduled commitments and cannot stick to a schedule should not be trusted.”

If you live in an area like I do, traffic can do you in any day, at any time. There seems to be no solution to this issues. Getting stuck in traffic is just a way of life. Give yourself a head start when you  are on your way out the door. Schedule in some extra time to reduce your stress level and help you arrive on time.

For more on living life in your car.

Here is a excerpt from another Basic Blog post call Organizing your Car and Cargo.

There are many things that you can do to make your drive time more enjoyable. The first one is to wash your vehicle inside and out. I am guilty of putting off this task for long periods of time. But when I get around to it, a clean car makes such a big difference in my outlook. That old car isn’t so bad. It actually smells good all vacuumed and polished. I can see clearly out of the windows! So get rid of that stuff that has accumulated in the corners, clear out the backseat, and purge the trunk.  Feel the space free up. Open the windows, let the air flow, like feng shui for the your car!…read more

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Seana Turner on November 9, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Even when I check my traffic app, I STILL periodically get caught in something that erupted after I left. I just go early, and always have something to do in my car if I end up with extra minutes. Deleting photos on my phone if nothing else, right? Nothing is worse than feeling rushed because you got stuck in traffic!!

  2. Sabrina Quairoli on November 9, 2020 at 10:54 am

    We just cleaned the car this past weekend. It makes me feel good when the car is cleaned inside. Thanks for sharing the reminder.

  3. Linda Samuels on November 9, 2020 at 11:00 am

    One of the advantages of doing virtual organizing is that traffic has become a non-issue. But that’s just in my work life. This past weekend, we visited family out of state. We thought it would be a six-hour drive because that’s what my family indicated. However, when we plugged in the GPS, we discovered the trip would be MUCH shorter. That rarely happens, but it was a good surprise.

    Have you noticed if traffic patterns have changed near you since the pandemic? In the New York area, traffic can be congested. There was a period early on when there were barely any cars. Slowly, traffic has increased, but not near to the level it had been. I think many people are still working from home and commuting less.

  4. Hazel Thornton on November 9, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Piggybacking on Seana’s suggestion to take something with you to do if you’re early (like deleting photos on your phone): Reading a book, checking social media, making a phone call, writing a greeting card, playing a game app, making a gift or gratitude list, listening to music or a podcast…. the list is endless!

  5. Julie Stobbe on November 9, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    I have made my drives more enjoyable by listening to audiobooks. Since covid started the traffic is much lighter in my area and I haven’t been in a traffic jam since March. With certain clients who were located in an area that was prone to unpredictable traffic patterns, I would ask them if it was alright if I was late sometimes. I explained that to ensure I would arrive on time I would leave to very early. They said it was fine and so I would leave expecting to arrive on time but if the unexpected happened I didn’t worry or become anxious. I either stayed longer or billed less to account for the later arrival time. I sometimes have an organizing book in the car and if I arrive early I do some educational reading.

  6. Deb Lee on November 11, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    I’m usually 15-20 minutes early for appointments so I’m usually doing “waiting activities,” like deleting text messages, cleaning out the car, making a grocery list, replying to comments on social, and practicing Spanish using my language app. Hazel is right. The list is endless. 😊

    • Janet Schiesl on November 12, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Yes the list is endless. You gave me some more ideas here. Thanks.

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