I’m an efficiency nut. I have a stopwatch in my car, and I enjoy taking different routes and figuring out how long it takes to get various places. Little things like average and max stoplight cycle times, and how much faster or slower it is getting on a highway for 1 exit and going a longer distance, but faster.
So the natural result was me pushing preparation and travel times far to close; combined with human nature to take the most optimistic estimate (instead of the most likely), I ended up being late far more often than I would have liked.
Much of this can be solved with being more prepared and brutally honest with oneself about how long things actually take; being data driven and inhuman tools like GPS helps a ton as well.
However, giving myself ~10minutes padding for most things has been very positive. Less russ and stress means I can be a bit more relaxed and mindful about what I’m doing, and I forget or miss things less. Having the time to stop to fill up with gas before an appointment, instead of having to remember after, is nice. And being able to take an extra minute and have a proper in-passing conversation with someone you know is great as well.
But the best part, by far, is being able to sit in the car and finish listening to a song on the radio, and maybe the one after it (or the NPR piece). I’ve been continually impressed with how much the ability to do that very simple thing has improved my calmness and mood.