Today I made the decision to hunker down and have a conference call in a closet. Why? Fighting traffic is dangerous, unnerving and bad for the soul.
It's better to conduct business in an unconventional place than to kill yourself trying to get to one. Last night I got back from a speaking gig/vacation in Mexico. Late. I struggled out of bed around 6:30am, cracked open the laptop and started catching up over coffee. I turned off during the vacation, so there was a sea of emails to attend to.
At 9:14am I loaded into my car with my briefcase, guitar, CDs and coffee — off to my writing studio in Burbank for a day of conference calls and catch up. As I turned on the ignition, I did the travel-math and realized that I'd need to drive like Ricky Racer to get parked and on the phone for my 9:30am call. If every light was kind to me, I'd screech into the parking lot at around 9:29:30.
"That's really tight," I said to myself. I realized that It's too late to push it off a few minutes and unacceptable to be late. Several other people would be dialing in for an important planning call for an upcoming keynote talk.
So I turned off the car and loaded myself into the basement (one part of the house not currently under construction) to setup for a conference call. I reviewed my notes, visualized the call and settled into a makeshift chair with pen and paper ready. It was uncomfortable and barely quiet enough for the call. But I was relaxed and focused on the call — and it went really well. It was over by 9:55am.
My next call was at 10:30am, so I casually made my way to Burbank, taking in the scenery and listening to Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde on the car stereo. The 10:30am call went as well as the first because I was relaxed and calm. It was a better morning all around. I vowed to avoid the rush-to-work scene again by having better time management OR getting used to working in my basement!
Your takeaway: Never fight traffic to get to a "better location" if you have something important to do when you get there. Do it from somewhere else, or if possible, reschedule by a few minutes.