I do this journey regularly from that neck of the woods but work shifts so my experience will be slightly different to yours if you will work office hours. I get on the Motorway at Meadowhall, its usually easy enough to get onto the M1 that way, roughly the same distance as if you were to go on the A61 but quicker in terms of time, and its shorter than going via parkway. Can't imagine the traffic being pleasant between 8 and 9am though. I would also advise, unless you are mega rich, to get an economical car as you can reasonably expect to pay £8-11 per day on fuel alone. Despite what people say, Leeds is easy enough to negotiate and once you know where you are going the roads and ways out of the city are actually pretty sensible.
You know, that might be the answer - to act boastfully about something we should be ashamed of. That trick never seems to fail.