Mylifesamess's Blog

Picture Your Errands as a Video Game Map

Posted in efficiency, Organization by mylifesamess on 03/09/2011

As an education major in college, I studied a lot of different learning styles.  The VARK model seemed to be my professors’ favorite, which posits that students prefer learning through certain sensory experiences.  There are visual learners, auditory learners, reading / writing learners, and kinesthetic / tactile learners.  I discovered that I learn well through three of the four methods, but I have a very difficult time with auditory learning.  It’s a useful piece of information, but I still never much cared for VARK (you can go here and fill out a questionnaire to see what your learning style is).

I start off with this because I’m reminded of the VARK model when I analyze some of my thought patterns, in particular when I’m making a trip with multiple destinations.  I realized that I had a habit of visualizing an overhead map of my route and had created mental markers on that map with my destinations.  This not only allowed me to better remember all my destinations, but also allowed me to plan the most efficient route to achieve my goals.  I also found it amusing that these mental maps seemed to have been unconsciously based on the dungeon maps from the numerous Zelda video games I played in middle school.  For those unfamiliar with the game, here’s an idea of what I’m referring to :

Just picture some in-bins, vending machines, and mail rooms instead of treasure chests.

Anyway, point is, I thought I’d share this as a potentially helpful strategy for minimizing the time you spend running around the office, or the time you spend running multiple errands.  When the goal is achieved, the mental marker is removed.

Maybe it’s so painfully obvious that it’s dumb that I even bothered to post about it.  But, it saves me time and gives my office trips purpose, which also helps cut down on the distractions you encounter on the way.  That’s usually a good thing, though there’s something to be said for being in touch with what’s going on around the office.

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