Micro-optimizations

It’s 12:34am. I notice the time every night because of the sequence. Hopefully I’ll be in bed before 1:23am, steroids but in all likelihood I won’t. I’ll be back at the office in less than seven hours, check and damn it would be nice to get that kind of sleep, but it’s a matter of priorities. I’m coding.

At some point (I’ve long since stopped paying attention to the time), I realize I’m spending more time with my eyes closed, not typing, than with them open. I admit defeat, hit `:w` in vim, and begin my evening ritual.

I get up and clear the kitchen table. I leave the laptop open so I’ll receive corp email and my twitter stream for tomorrow’s bus ride—I ride the bus because I can be productive during my commute, but it’s also good for the environment.

I move my backpack from the floor to the stool next to my laptop and make sure the backpack is open.

I place my shoes next to the table, facing toward it.

I fill the dog food bowl and place it in the cabinet.

I move my pocket items, except my phone, into the pair of shorts I pick out for tomorrow and stack shorts and the rest of the outfit above my shoes on the kitchen table in the reverse order I will apply each article in the morning.

I separate my socks and put them and the phone on my night stand. The phone is my alarm clock, and the socks are to make my departure quieter, less likely to wake my children.

I step outside and move my bike next to the patio door, facing outward, then head back inside and shower. My head is shaven, so I can shower in the evening and not worry about bed head. Ok, and I’m balding.

I purposely don’t notice the time when I go to bed, and drift off quickly, pondering the subtle nuances of prototypal versus pseudo-classical inheritance.

My phone alarm goes off. It’s 6:00am. I have to be at the bus stop about a mile away in seventeen minutes. This particular bus runs only once a day in the morning and once in the evening, so I can’t be late.

Normally I get out of bed at the first alarm, but this morning my sleepy mind notices a label on the phone next to one of the buttons on the outside screen.

The alarm goes off. It’s 6:05am after an unplanned snooze. Oh shit! I should be dressed and the dog should be eating by now. I hit snooze, put my socks on, hop out of bed, apply some deodorant in the bathroom, then sneak down the hall to the kitchen table with my phone, closing my laptop as I pass it. I put on my outfit, stepping through my shorts into my shoes. I put my phone in my pocket as I turn around to put my laptop in the bag. I sling it on a shoulder while I pull Daisy’s food from the cabinet. I take the bowl outside and place it on the patio with Daisy tight on my heels. I close the door behind us, put on my helmet and get on my bike.

After a minute or two, my phone alarm goes off again. It’s 6:10am. This is my reminder that I should be getting on my bike no later than now. I’m ahead of schedule. I’ll make the bus, and will be coding again in about nine minutes. I turn off the alarm.

On the road within four minutes of waking. Apparently I’ve given myself five more minutes than I need in the morning. And perhaps I should move my deodorant to the nightstand.

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