Cars and Time Management (And Not How They Are Related)

This article is overdue by over one and a half months. In December 2010, I was writing a post each day on a topic chosen by another person. There were two topics that I didn’t get to: cars and time management, chosen by Greg T. (Westwood HS) and Sandeep P. (University of North Dakota) respectively. I’ll start with cars.

I really don’t have much to say about cars. In this case I’ll make some bullets.

  • ground-based motored vehicles
  • fast, at least compared to walking
  • fun to drive in
  • max speed I’ve been in a car: 100 mph, though not as the driver
  • number of cars I’ve driven: 2
  • new cars are shiny
  • this is the obligatory point about pollution and global warming
  • longest drive I’ve been in: 1015 miles (Austin, TX to Orlando, FL)
  • I’ve never been pulled over or ticketed, but this statement will probably jinx it
  • the first time I’ve been in a car, I might have been 4. This is because I spent my first few years in a fairly poor area in China where nobody owned a car (we moved to the US when I was 4)
  • that distinctive new car smell?
  • my typical driving speed is 100-120% of the speed limit.
  • in traffic jams, I drive on the exit lane at a slow but constant rate, leaving a wide gap between me and the person in front of me (this type of driving theoretically and sometimes empirically solves the mathematical problem  of stop-and-go traffic jams; it works by allowing people entering or exiting the exit lane to switch lanes easily, i.e. without stop-and go, which would have full-stopped not only them, but the entire lane behind that car and the lane which that car is switching to)
    • Yep, I claim responsibility to three partial clearings of the I-35 northbound rush hour jam in downtown Austin
  • Greg was insistent that this post be excellent, so here’s a picture of his car for good measure

You can click the picture to get an epic zoom of it, complete with a silhouette of myself and two other people in the reflection, next to the sun.

The second topic, ironically, is time management. (Which, if I could successfully pull off, this article would have been posted last year.)

About time management, here are 6 tips for squeezing the most out of your time:

  1. Know what you’re doing. If you are unsure of what you’re doing with your time, then you can’t really make much of it. Don’t say, “I want to do something for the next hour.” Know what that “something” is.
  2. Plan your task as specifically as possible. Know the “something” to as much detail as possible. If you’re writing an essay, it could quite paradoxically save valuable time to plan out the arguments, evidence, and organization first. This is because when you’re brain is actually engaged on the task, it will have better focus on what it is supposed to be doing.
  3. Distract yourself, but not too much. As I said about superproductivity, having too few distractions can sometimes be harmful to productivity. But don’t have too many either. (See #6.)
  4. Let others know what you are doing. This is what got me through NaNoWriMo this year. Every few days in November I posted my current word count as my Facebook status, and the responses kept me going..
  5. Have a schedule. Whether this should be specific or not will depend on what type of person you are. Make sure you have at least have some rough idea of when things are to be done.

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