Sunday, January 28, 2007

Data provide a glimpse of my routine

A collateral benefit of my SIRIUS tuner's memory and the fact that it is powered via my cigarette lighter is that I can measure how long it takes for me to do certain regular recurring tasks as I drive around running errands. If I stop for gas or check my mailbox I press "pause" on the tuner before I turn the ignition off and then resume listening once I've started up again. Below are some things I've done over the past week and approximately how long each one took.
  • Pick up shirts at drycleaners: 2m 16s
  • Make three copies and fax three pages at copy shop: 16m 10s
  • Park & run into post office to send letters: 1m 50s
  • Pick up razor refills at grocery store: ~5 to 6m (approx. since I had to go to two stores to find them)
  • Put $20 gas in my truck: ~3 to 4m (est. since I didn't actually do this this week but recall from past fill-ups this is about right.)
  • Buy sandwich at a drive-thru fast food joint: 4m 7s
I thought it was interesting to see that some of the things I do don't take as long as I perceive them to take. Filling up with gas particularly. I used to think when I was cutting things close with time and my gas gauge was approaching "empty" I wouldn't have time to stop to fill up. The truth is, even 5 bucks will ensure I won't run out of gas going anywhere in town and I can be in and out in two minutes or less. Also, as my brother Brian has said to me, can you afford to not stop for gas? If you actually run dry there's no question you'll be late.

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