Efficiencies to the extreme!

I’ve recently been noticing my need for things to be efficient. It’s not just that I try to take the most direct route from home to work, or try to choose the fastest line at the grocery store (although I do take those two things unnecessarily seriously), I’ve noticed myself taking the need for efficiency to extremes.

Road in the UAE.

Image via Wikipedia

Driving is an obvious example. I’ll spend more time trying to find the most efficient way to run all my errands than it would take to run the errands inefficiently. I get to the point where I even determine which lane is most efficient based on the number of turning lanes available and amount of times I would need to switch lanes to reach my destination.

If you’re starting to think I’m crazy, keep reading.


Image by heathervescent via Flickr

When I’m at the grocery store I try to make my path the most efficient, only turning down aisles I’m certain contain the items I need and keeping a close eye on the meat counter so I can stop there when there are no lines. Heaven forbid I stand still for 30 seconds while someone else orders their chicken breast. If there’s a breach in my system and I realize I forgot to get the blueberries I need for the muffins I plan to make and have to go all the way back to the produce section… you better believe my list will be better organized next time so we can avoid this catastrophic loss of a minute. After picking up those forgotten blueberries and selecting the fastest check-out lane I watch the cashier intently and look for inefficiencies in his/her process.

Am I getting crazier? Don’t worry, there’s more.

Toast, toasted

Image via Wikipedia

My journey for efficiency doesn’t stop with running errands. It’s a non-stop battle in my head. Having toast for breakfast? Quick! Put the bread in the toaster. That’s the part that takes the longest. Then you can put the bread away while it’s toasting. Wait, don’t get the butter yet because the plates are above the bread basket it’s best to get out a plate first and then go to refrigerator to get the butter. After that, circle back towards the toaster where you can get the knife to spread the butter and you’ll be standing right next to the toaster when the toast is done. No precious time wasted or excess steps taken. (Keep in mind, our kitchen is TINY. It’s about 2 whole steps from the toaster to the refrigerator.)

There are endless examples of these games in my head. You may be wondering, “Sara, why are you in such a hurry?” And the answer is… I’m not. I’m typically not in a hurry when I’m doing these things which is what makes it all so puzzling to me! If I was in a hurry then the need for efficiency would make sense!

The funny thing is, I’m not stopping and purposefully thinking of the best way to make toast in the morning, it just sort of happens subconsciously. In fact, I just took a break from writing this post and made some shrimp for dinner and was determining the best way to take the tails off the shrimp. (Hold the shrimp in the right hand and pull the tails with the left, or vice versa?) Completely unnecessary and not something I was actively wanting to streamline. My mind just takes off and makes me more efficient.

I suppose this is a good thing, so I don’t want to complain, but sometimes I just want to clear my mind and go to the grocery store without the stress of being insanely efficient. While I do appreciate the time my efficiency saves me, I also find myself comically annoyed with myself.

So now that you all think I’m a nut, are there any weird habits you have?


2 thoughts on “Efficiencies to the extreme!

  1. Ha, I do the SAME THINGS! Ben and I just put together a giant Ikea dresser tonight…my irritation with his lack of production line type efficiency caused a slew of issues. Also had a ridiculously inefficient grocery store experience today (was on the phone with my sister. I can’t be on the phone in the grocery store). I really appreciate this post because my brain drives me INSANE sometimes.
    PS: I’ve said all along that I’m not (just) lazy I’m efficient. For example, in 2324 when I’d be posted on the black leather couch and wait to hear Doster’s footsteps down the hall coming home from class and then immediately call him on his cell and ask him to drop in our apartment and grab me the pistachios from our kitchen (that Dittmann bought) that was EFFICIENCY not laziness.

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