Friday, May 10, 2019

HliAT #33: just barely making it (2)

How long it actually Takes to...

bike here from home
(3.2 miles)
after turning back ~three minutes into the ride
because you FORGOT YOUR BIKE LOCK (*!%#!)
maybe you could ask the folks @ the studio
(they know you. they're nice.)
to let you stash your bike in the lobby
just inside the doors, people do that sometimes
but u don't wanna take chances 
(it's not even your bike! you borrowed it from this cool guy, your housemate)
so yeah no 
turn around gogogo!
...arrive: two minutes before class starts
I.E., just fine
bike time15:04.93

This is a companion piece to HliAT #32, "Yes/No SPECIAL EDITION". It interrogates the same important question: how much money (time) do I leave on the table by overestimating the time it takes to do things? 

I think I got at all this in the previous post, but let me lay out my priors here.

  • I dislike being late because it deprives me of the pleasure of small, anchoring rituals that I enjoy before many activities, especially challenging physical activities
  • I dislike being late because it can be rude to the people around me, and makes me feel like someone who does not have their &h1t together, in a way that spills over negatively onto others
  • I find that the marginal value of time spent working once I know that I'm going to have to break in less than an hour is continually diminishing
  • clarification: of 'real' work; challenging work. Not of just worky-work or mechanical tasks. Those yeah you can just plug for another (say) 8 minutes.

I actually don't mind or want to change any of these things. But I do want to optimize on them; I don't want to leave lots of time around, wasted, all because I was protecting those extra two minutes at a yoga studio on my mat before class or something. I do not really need those extra two minutes, etc. (note: those extra two minutes, I say; time before class in some measure I do want, for the "small, anchoring rituals" noted above).

But now, disappointingly, I have to conclude that it looks as if there is no optimization to be had here. Review: I added six or seven minutes to this bike ride by forgetting the bike lock and having to loop back; I biked harder than I usually would, arrived ~2 minutes before the class started, and was more rushed getting into the studio than I'd prefer to be (again, remember please reader-friend: the whole point of HliAT is, to some extent, the delectatious exploration of the preposterous luxury of getting to think about time in this way, about days in this way, about structuring life according to the these patterns of exorbitant privilege).

Upshot: my usual time budget for this bike ride is 20 minutes, which I time to let me have ~10 minutes arrival. I probably left a little later than was optimal in a way I wouldn't have noticed, had I not messed up with the bike lock.

Takeaway: ~45 minutes before workout -- break work, commence prep is still right. Does it take fifteen minutes to get ready? Not quite; I'm burning a minute or two (literally) right there. Does it take twenty minutes to bike to the studio? About, but not quite; burning another minute or two. What this means is that all-in I'm probably "wasting" 5 minutes off optimal efficiency, and those 5 minutes buy me a lack of pressure and the added pleasure of doing a pleasurable thing even more pleasurably, which I count as being worth ~30 minutes a week.

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