This came to me today while I was riding home on Main Street East Hartford. I noticed a bicycle lying in the back of a full size pickup truck. The kind of pickup truck that hasn't ever been used for a construction job. Spotless paint and shiny. A vanity truck. 17 MPG and obviously the wrong damn tool for the job, unless the job is compensating for something. How is that truck the right tool for picking up groceries or commuting? It's insult to injury to see a bicycle in the back of a vehicle like that. The funny thing is that they were probably driving to a bike path.
|The ultimate lean machine|
For example. So, so many of the engineers I work with have the typical house in the burbs with the sprawling lawn and the long commute. They complain about cutting the grass, talk about their "new expensive tools" needed cut the grass faster, and bitch about getting stuck in traffic. If they spent 30 minutes evaluating the things they like to do (consider that their value added activities) and then listed the fluff and suffering (non-value added activity, wasted time, and rework). Consider the list below for example. I know some folks enjoy cutting the lawn and their jobs, but let's not get stuck on that. You can make your own list, it will be different. The important thing, I think, is to actually make some sort of list like this once in a while.
Value Added (increase these)
- Spending time with family and / or friends
- Unstructured time spent relaxing or recreating
- Going out to a nice dinner
- Seeing shows or attending cultural events
- Exercising and staying healthy
- Improving my community
- Stuck in traffic. Commuting to work and other things.
- Time spent at work - assuming that your job is stressful and you'd rather do other things
- Cutting grass
- Standing in line
- And it could go on and on...