Q2 2023: Clean Faster, Faster Laundry, Easier and Faster Parties, Get To Bed On Time, Cheapest 4×6 Photos

I’m going to raise book prices. Now is the time to buy: EIE In Cooking(huh? blocked on amazon, get it free here), Perfect Eating, Speed Cooking. As an FYI, I’m in the beginning stages of a book titled “Speed Cooking in 4 Minutes Per Day: This Time The Food Tastes Good”

I have exclusive content on youtube. Some extra studies that I didn’t want to post on this website for one reason or another.

Save Time

(Feature Article) Reduce Transportation Waste During Cleaning: Save 500 hours in your lifetime by learning how to use Opportunistic Cleaning and Carts. Mrs. Efficiency says this article is stellar and super value added, full of good applicable tips.

(Feature Article) In Control Bed Time: Get you or your kids to bed on time using Statistical Process Control or a good enough estimate.

Low Time/Low Effort Parties: Providing ideas to make parties easier and take less effort. I didn’t include catering, everything is still DIY.

Separate Laundry by Person or Category To Save Time: Basically just read the headline and apply it, if you want to understand why the sorting science works, I have an article.

Save Money

4×6 Photos Per Dollar: Walmart probably wins for bulk photos, in-store pickup using SnapFish + CVS/Walgreens is best for small orders. You might get an exception with coupons/loss leaders.

Personal stuff:

This is super late because I was sick for 2 weeks due to me being in denial about a late onset egg allergy, then Windows and OneDrive sucks so I had to install Linux. Linux is awesome.

My Wife decided to go the Millionaire Estates route instead of Country Side Acres. (My plan for Lean FI/RE has been delayed at least for 7 years). This means I should have plenty of money for future studies. It also means that I’ll be even further pressed for time, expect more time saving studies! If you want a money saving article, reach out to me.

Remember, no pointless actions!

Best Regards,
Lead Engineer
Michael Kirk

Separate Laundry By Person (Or By Category)

My wife hated this idea. My friend’s wife hated this idea.

But they weren’t doing the laundry. I love this, my friend loves it too.

By separating your laundry by person, you reduce the categories of sorting. If you want to believe me, you can skip the rest of this article. However if you want to understand why, I will go into detail.

Less Categories Allows Batch Processing

Imagine two scenarios:

A pile of you, your SO, and your children’s freshly cleaned clothes. ~6 categories each x 3 people= ~18 categories


Your clothes. ~6 categories

With a smaller number of categories, you may be able to grab all of your shirts without digging, eliminating a category instantly. Next you grab all of your pants. Down to 4 categories. At this point you may have to begin sorting by largest items and most frequent items (as recommended by our ergonomic laundry study). You only have 4 categories, which means you can keep the piles close-by. When there are only 2 categories left, elimination of 1 category necessarily sorts the last category. In the worst case, you sorted 5 categories.

With a larger number of categories, you may have shirts hidden deep into the pile behind your SO’s shirts. Instead of doing all shirts at once, you reasonably can only get the ones on the top layer, you continue to have 18 categories to be sorted after your first round. As you continue you create 18 piles, each with distances separating them, at some point you may have to throw clothes because there are too many categories to fit within arms reach. Maybe you have 2 kids around the same ages and genders, you may have to check the size on each to know which pile they go in. The cognitive load to sort 18 items is greater than 6 items.

This is also commonly done with towels or bedding. You can also separate by category.

A Counterpoint, Transportation Waste

Suppose you have 3 family members, this would involve 3 different loads of laundry. Each time you need to walk to the laundry machine, add detergent, fabric softener, and start it. Later you would return to dry it. Each of these has transportation and operating waste from doing it 3 times instead of 1.

My best advice here is to have plenty of dirty clothes before doing the laundry, this way your laundry machine was full anyway. It depends on a tradeoff between sorting time and how long it takes to walk to the laundry machine. My solution is to do laundry before my bedtime or the kids bed time, our laundry is near our bedrooms so I would be passing by the laundry room anyway.

In the event that there is urgently dirty clothes, which is a near daily occurrence with kids, it makes more sense to do 1 load for all of the kids. Otherwise I’d be making many small trips to the laundry, only to get a few clothes clean each time. By doing these more frequent loads, this also reduces categories as not every category will have been made dirty.

Whatever you do, look to eliminate waste and continuously improve!

In-Control Bedtime: Save Time on your Bedtime routine, for you and your kids.

By taking a few measurements, you can get you (or your kids) bedtime ‘in-control’, saving you time and increasing the consistency of getting to bed on time.

Feel free to skip to the section labeled “Application” if you want the ‘too long didn’t read’ version. Things get somewhat technical in the Theory sections. Mrs. Efficiency says the theory sections are hard to read but the application section had good ideas.

(Theory) Out Of Control Processes Are Unnecessary

Being in-control or out-of-control is defined by you. You can choose to have a narrow band(1 standard deviation) that would increase your chance of a processes getting out-of-control, or you can have a wider band that guarantees(3 standard deviations) 99.7% of the time you would stay in-control. The purpose here is to identify non-random causes of variation quickly so you can eliminate them or compensate for them.

In a factory, you may have a customer specification to make a minimum of 50 parts per hour. This is not necessarily your Lower Control Limit, this is a lower Spec Limit. (Note: In this article our bed time specification and our control limit will be the same value.) Based on collected data, you have found your factory can produce 74 parts per hour on average with a standard deviation of 3 parts per hour. If you want to stay within the control limit 99.7% of the time, you’d set your Upper Control Limit to 83 parts per hour and Lower Control Limit to 64 Parts Per Hour. Now suppose a robot starts breaking more often and you only produced 30 parts. To get your process in control you might buy a redundant robot that could be turned on during a breakage. You might monitor the robot closely and do maintenance. You can even expand what you consider ‘in control’. This could be acceptable and you can opt to run the robot for 2 shifts instead of 1 shift.

Standard control chart:

Simplified control chart:

At home, you may set your spec limit and control limit to have dinner ready at 6pm, but an extra long recipe or surprise visit from a friend could cause dinner not to be ready until 6:30pm. For these, you may consider starting dinner earlier, coming up with a plan if you have a future surprise visit, or removing long recipes from your regular list.

The benefit of control limits are to catch when your variation is increasing, and most importantly figuring out root causes and solutions to major (non-random) variation.

(Theory) Signs of Process Getting Out Of Control

Some rules of thumbs that signal that a process is getting out of control:

Any time a process falls outside the control limit

If you had ~6 consecutive points that were trending in the same direction, your process might be becoming out of control. (Ex: 15,17,19,20,22,23)

Eight consecutive points on the same side of the average

Fourteen consecutive data points alternating up and down.

(Application) Get your process In Control

Your goal is to figure out what time you need to start your bedtime routine, to ensure you get to bed on-time. In this example I’m going to use my kid’s bedtime because they are highly variable compared to me and the wife. This can be used with your bedtime routine as well.

The first and most important step to getting a process in-control is to measure and record the important metric. Without any measurements, you can’t be sure if you are hitting your targets. You also can’t determine what is an acceptable amount of variation if you have no measurement history.

For a bed time routine its probably best to measure the ‘Time In Bed’ metric. I would start the kid’s bedtime routine at 7:45PM each night and only track of the finish time.

After 3-6 measurements, you can get a general idea of what kind of variation between nights can be expected. The important thing to me was making sure my kids were in bed before 8pm. Taking your average Finish Time plus Variation, you can reliably get to bed within your ‘Control Limit’. As I realized the kids were often in bed at 8:01PM, I pushed the start of the bedtime routine back to 7:40PM.

You can also find causes of variation. If you had a measurement that was an outlier, it would be worth analyzing it and seeing if there are ways to eliminate it or prepare for it. We had an issue with kids wanting misplaced stuffed animals in their bed, but since this caused minutes of looking for toys, we removed stuffed animals from their bed. We got into a habit of giving the kids ice water before bed so I could keep the Air Conditioning at a higher temperature, now they only get it if there is extra time or I prepared ahead of time. The amount of time they get listening to/reading a book before bed can vary depending on how long they take performing their other bedtime tasks – some nights they only get a page of a book and other nights they can easily finish a whole book. These Inputs, including Start Time, will determine the Finish Time.

Finally you can further improve by honing in your process. Process flow diagrams may be a bit too rigid, but as you eliminate variation, you will be more likely to find ways to streamline the process. Trying to hit our goal time, I found myself multitasking by doing one of the steps(going through phonics) while we are walking to the bathroom. Another way to streamline is to perform a task for two children at once. Read a book that two kids like together to reduce time spent doing the same task with each child.

(Optional) Calculating Upper Control Limits and Lower Control Limits

For my personal home application, I did write down the times, but I didn’t actually calculate the standard deviation. I used feelings. Want to use something other than feelings? Calculate it:

Take some data points, at least 3 points, more is better. For instance 17, 19, 14 minutes.

Take the average so you can center your chart. For instance 16.6 minutes

Take the standard deviation(use a calculator/excel/google sheets). Multiply that standard deviation by 3 if you only want 1 failure per every other year. Only multiply by 2 if you want ~8 failures per year. For instance, 2.5*3=7.5 minutes or 2.5*2= 5 minutes. (single tailed normal distribution)

Take the average and add the standard deviation you calculated. 16.6 minutes + 7.5 minutes= Start the bedtime process 24.1 minutes before bedtime. (or I’m less critical, and will use the 2 standard deviation, 16.6 minutes + 5 minutes = 21.6 minutes.)

Trying to get the kids to bed by 8pm? Start the process at 7:38pm. It will work 357 days per year.

Process changes

Don’t expect a process to be in control forever. In a factory its common for changes to occur. Maybe you got a faster robot, maybe your customer wants an additional piece of foam glued on. These would involve getting the process back in control.

At home, you might have gotten injured and decide to include a round of physical therapy exercises in your bedtime routine. After a few measurements you can decently decide what time you need to start your bed time routine to get to bed on time.

The big take away here is that by having your process in control you can quickly spot non-random variations and make adjustments.

Low Time/Effort Parties

You could pay someone else to cook, clean, or use someone else’s venue, but I will discuss some DIY options. I will also not include potlucks in these suggestions.

On Cleaning

Decide what matters, can you keep people outside? This could eliminate the need to perfectly clean counters, tables, dust, etc… However people will still need to use the bathroom, so consider what routes will be traversed. I personally focus on picking up items off floors and counters, then if I have extra time, dry wiping counters and vacuuming the floors. If I have way extra time, I’ll scrub stuck on stains. I basically don’t deal with dust until its terrible, not a major focus for a summer party. The winter or an apartment party will have different quality metrics.

Do things need to be organized, or merely hidden? Picking up toys and putting them all into a bin is quicker than sorting between different uses.

Table cloths make it easy to cover a dirty table, it also makes it easy to clean up later.

While a robot vacuum requires pre-cleaning to remove items from the floor, it can do most of the job, leaving only hard to reach places, a fraction of the task.


Does it really matter? My wife would say yes.

Use chatgpt to skip the brainstorming step. For instance, describe your theme, describe that you want it easy, 0 effort, and take (almost) no time.

Can you enjoy it? There is something I love about decorating cakes. I am not talented, but I have vision and get in the zone as I apply frosting. I suppose this doesn’t actually save any time, but you might be able to replace other hedonistic activities like watching TV/Playing video games/endless social media scrolling with this more productive activity.

Streamers/ribbon are easy and cheap but change the color of your home. Worthwhile if you are trying hard on decorations.

Mrs. Efficiency Tip – piƱatas can be both a decoration and a party activity, very versatile!

On Food

Bulk cook. I probably didn’t have to tell you that. One of the easiest parties we threw had a taco bar. 1 Meat, pinto beans/refried beans, Spanish rice. Everything else was cold and just needed to be set out.

Another idea, we did Pasta and Soup. Soups can be bulk cooked and require almost 0 stirring (Speed Cooking‘s Cream of Broccoli soup was a hit). Red Sauce Pasta was easy, make a large pot of sauce and moments before the party begins, you cook noodles. This means you have more time to socialize and less time cooking.

Slowcookers are great, but I feel like they have been a bit overdone. I’m not saying that slowcooker pulled pork sandwhiches are out of the question, this is a near 0 effort meal, but in our social circles it got overused. I still use this to cook soups and keep things warm.

On Snacks

Always have peanuts (assuming there are no deathly allergic people coming). These are easy to put on a table, they are a top nutrient per dollar choice as well.

Chips and Salsa can be a hit, but I’ll suggest that if you do salsa, pick a ‘different’ salsa. Everyone is used to generic red salsa. Try green or try one with weird ingredients.

Whole fruits are healthy and take almost 0 prep. This might get expensive depending on the fruit, but consider that most people wouldn’t be grabbing too much. In-season fruit tastes better and is cheaper. If the fruit requires prep, its not getting served at our parties.

“Can I help with anything?”

Often people will offer to help, I have some ideas for that:

Stirring meats/foods.

Blowing up balloons.

Something that takes almost no brainpower and can’t be messed up.

On Sending Out Invites

Left this for the end, because I don’t have a great solution.

Mass text messages have been blocked by Tmobile, I suppose I was inviting like 20+ people with the same message. Simply changing the first few words ‘hey *name*’ seemed to get around the block. That means copypasting the rest of the invite. This seems reliable. I’m faster with a mouse and keyboard and found there is an app called Link to Windows(Android to Windows) and KDE Connect(Android to Linux).

Email might be best, going to give this a try for family parties were I can BCC everyone.

Letters. This is expensive, but assuming you have up to date addresses in excel, it can be easy to print labels. The upfront work is real, but now I can easily send out Christmas cards too!

Final Thoughts

Don’t start cleaning days before. Things get dirty quickly, and you are probably going above and beyond.

We had food catered once, and I realized I was equally as stressed, cleaning areas that would likely go unnoticed until moments before guests arrived. The mentality that you can always improve seems dangerous for parties. See if you can cut corners – guests will likely not notice, or not care.

4×6 Photos Per Dollar: Save Money Printing The Classic Photo Size

This is a simple study that can help you save money on printed 4×6 photos.

You will need to decide if you are willing to drive to a store, and how many photos you are willing to buy.

The Data

I did not include temporary coupons, my wife says these are common. Keep an eye out for them.

If you only want to print 1 photo and are willing to drive to a store, you can use Snapfish and pickup at Walgreens or CVS.

If you want over 75 photos and want it delivered, you are probably best going to Walmart, but there might be an opportunity to save money at Snapfish given they may have coupons.

My number one suggestion is to double check the price you are paying at checkout. It seems every website would bait you in with cheap prices, only to change them at the checkout screen because you had to pay for shipping, or were picking it up in store.

Here is the sheet if you’d like to add your own comparison.

Reduce Transportation Waste During Cleaning, save 500 hours in your lifetime.

If you have to walk for 10 seconds to a room, and 10 seconds back, that is 20 seconds of necessary non-value added time. Do this 5 times a day and in 50 years, you’ve spend 500 hours walking back and forth!

Here are some ways to either half that time, or nearly eliminate it.

Opportunistic Cleaning

This is where you clean wherever your body is currently located. If you had to take a cup from the living room to the kitchen, instead of returning to the living room, you’d begin cleaning the kitchen.

If you had to bring a rag from the kitchen to the laundry room, take the opportunity to either clean the laundry room, or whatever room is closest. (As a note, we have a laundry basket located between our kitchen and living room, it makes it so we can make a single trip when the basket fills up.)

Opportunistic Cleaning is the best for when you generally need to clean your home. If you need to clean only a kitchen or living room because company is only going in those areas, opportunistic cleaning that takes you to your bedroom would be ‘overprocessing waste’. It may be best to drop bedroom items at a central location and do that round in bulk. This gets into the next suggestion, using carts to move objects.

Use Carts To Move Objects

I don’t see too many carts in people’s homes, but they are all over workplaces, factories, and schools. While the distances traveled are not as extreme, they will save you time walking back and forth with individual objects as you can load up a cart with objects for different rooms, and move them all at once.

For an example, suppose I start in the living room with a cart. I can put cups, trash/trash bags, and outgoing paperwork/mail on a cart and move it to the kitchen. As I pass by the dinner table, I can pick up dirty dishes. I can unload the cups and dirty dishes into the dishwasher and put trash/trashbags into our larger kitchen trash. Now that I’m in the kitchen, I can add the random kids toys that somehow made it across the house to the cart. I can continue cleaning the kitchen, adding anything else that might need to be moved around, mail to go into a filing cabinet, dirty kids clothes from daycare, dirty rags, etc… I can stop by the garage door and leave the outgoing mail. I return to the living room, dropping off toys, putting the dirty clothes and rags into our laundry basket. Finally taking the cart to my office where paperwork is filed.

This would have been numerous trips back and forth, but with a cart, it was only a single loop.

The downside of a cart, is that it requires touching things twice. You must pick up and item, set it in the cart, and later transport it later.

For a single item, a cart isnt worth it, but as the number of items grows to exceed the number of items you can carry, it begins to save time.

Here is an affiliate link to a cart that I think is ‘just okay’. Its small, has 3 shelves, and a somewhat tall railing to prevent items from falling off. I think I’d rather have a cart that primarily has a top shelf, a shorter railing, and is larger. This way I am not spending time bending over to pick up objects from a lower shelf. With a smaller railing, you don’t need to lift as far vertically before moving horizontally, hypotenuse is a shorter distance! As an alternative idea, each of the three shelves can be designated as a room (top shelf is things to be put in the laundry room, middle shelf for kitchen, etc). That way you don’t have to spend time remembering where each thing belongs in your cleaning journey and eliminate second trips for drop-offs.

Final Thoughts

The previous two methods will reduce your cleaning time significantly. This article would be incomplete if I didn’t mention ‘making triangles’. Instead of walking back and forth, do things in-between (or close to in-between). For instance, if you need to walk from the kitchen to the living room, and your bathroom is mostly in-between, maybe a few steps away, you can save on transportation by going to the bathroom before making it to the living room. It requires a bit of thinking, so its more ideal than reality. I highly suggest the other two methods, but you should know this tool as well.

Remember: No pointless actions!

Cleaning Counters Study, Never Forget Groceries, ChatGPT vs Google, New Multitasking, AI Art uses

You may be drawn immediately to the ChatGPT vs Google study, but there is some cutting edge Efficiency in the Wiping Countertops study and Kitchen Inventory Solutions. It is a cornerstone release.

Over 20 time saving videos between 1 and 3 minutes long, watch at 2x speed for added efficiency on Youtube.

Save Time

FEATURE ARTICLE Wiping Countertops: With this study, I can’t imagine any further optimizations to the process. At a minimum, when wiping a counter, use the biggest rag/towel you feel comfortable with. There are a bunch more tips, but that in particular was a great finding.

ChatGPT vs Google: ChatGPT mostly won, but sometimes it didn’t. Might be worth understanding where Google is still better. If you already know this, feel free to skip this.

New Innovative Multitasking: I asked chatGPT how to multitask during the 5 seconds it takes to turn a shower knob to “On”. It gave me some interesting results for similar questions.

Save Money and Quality of Life Improvement

FEATURE ARTICLE Kitchen Inventory Solutions: I read and applied a logistics book to your kitchen groceries so you don’t have to. These are mind-bogglingly simple solutions to prevent forgetting groceries or running out of ingredients mid-week, saving you time, money, and frustration.

AI Art uses: Make art or get ideas for decorations. Some ideas for AI Art and how to get started.

Speed Cooking

It tastes alright at best, but you have all your food ready to eat in 2 minutes active time. Its incredible and the food is edible. Buy Speed Cooking: Experimental Alpha.

Wish You The Best

Coming up next time: Printed Pictures Per dollar, Parties Per Second(Efficient Parties), and if the inflation stops, some updated prices.

Move quickly on the AI/ChatGPT, I urge you not to be left behind. Its an incredible time saver.

Best Regards,
Lead Enginer
Michael Kirk

Save Time With An Industrial Engineering Study On Wiping Counters

Using path studies, motion studies, equipment options, quality metrics, and more, we find ways to save time cleaning counters.

Optimal Path

Try not to wipe back and forth over the same spot. Wipe in big strokes, not overlapping, hitting an area only once. Start in one corner, go across, move up, and across a not yet touched area. This is under the category of Coverage Path Planning.

Some best case optimizations is to start and stop in the same place, assuming that same place is the end destination. For instance, I need to wet a rag at the start and rinse a rag upon completion. It would be best to start and finish near the sink. It would be inefficient to start that the sink and end at the other side of the room. Sometimes this is unavoidable based on the size of a surface.

An important factor can be the shape of the surface. Theoretically a spiral motion reduces the number of times you decelerate, however if you don’t have a round table, you will be wasting time doing the corners that were not covered in a spiral motion. For a square/rectangle table, I found long motion across the table was more efficient.

For more reading about optimal pathing, here is a link to a study I found interesting:


The right equipment

Small sponges can take longer to clean a surface than a larger towel. The idea of using a larger towel seems great, you may need extra soap but you can accomplish more, quicker.

Use the right cloth, absorbent with some abrasion. Microfiber or cotton could work, but each cloth will be woven differently. Waffle Weaves are popular for cleaning because the ridges can help apply extra pressure on surfaces that would otherwise be spread out with a flat weave.


Good lighting will help you see dirty spots and will save you time and effort from straining to see these spots.

On a similar note, the quieter the area, the less distractions and higher focus you can have.

Do you need to move items out of your way to clean under? It might be worth finding a permanent spot for those items to avoid freqent cleaning underneath them.

Consider the placement of rags/towels, cleaning supplies, trash/disposal areas, and laundry baskets. They should be easily accessible and preferably along the path of your workflow.

What quality is needed? Perfection, good enough, or damage control?

If you can only use one section of your counter, you won’t need to clean the rest.

It may be worth letting things soak for ~3-10 minutes, bonus points for soap and hot water. My personal process for perfection is,

  1. Hot water and soap round
  2. Wait a few minutes
  3. Wipe with a mostly dry water only rag, soaking up lots of the old dirty water and scrubbing any spots that need it
  4. Final round where in one hand I have a lightly watered clean rag, then a completely dry clean rag(or paper towel) that soaks up that water

However, if you are only trying to prevent newly dirtied surfaces from getting messes stuck on: don’t get your rag too wet. Too much water will require extra wipes to dry. It might not be worth using soap which would require an extra round of wiping to remove the soap.

Finally, if you are ultra efficient and rarely clean, you could use a dry rag and wipe only solid objects off. This is a ‘debatably good enough’ quality.


Some Therbligs. To turn on faucet water, you release a latch/use a faucet. You search for a rag and grasp it. You use the water or rest, waiting for the water to get hot. You may also search and grasp for soap that you will use with the rag and water. Mixing the rag, water, and soap is assembly. Then you transport the load to the counter. Finally you use the rag on the countertops. Upon completion you disassemble the water, rag, and soap by releasing the latch/use the faucet and rinse the rag. Finally you may throw the rag in the laundry, releasing empty.

To make this process more efficient, we look at all the Therbligs. Here are some opportunities for optimization and elimination.

  • Ensure rags/towels are visible and easily accessible. We keep ours in an open bin on the counter.
  • Do something useful while the faucet water is heating up. Fill up nearby empty water bottles to increase your Water Per Second, pick up items that might be covering the countertops, load/empty the dishwasher, etc..
  • Ensure soaps are visible and easily accessible. We keep ours on the counter.
  • Don’t spend too much time mixing the water, rag, and soap, it doesnt matter much. Ensuring a perfectly lathered rag is Over Processing waste. A quick mix is good enough.
  • Upon completion, rinse the rag, but only as much as needed to get large debris off. If you are putting it in the laundry, no reason to ensure all soap and dirty water is gone.

AI suggestions

Clear surfaces ahead of time, to prevent setting down towels/rags/sponges to get to necessary surfaces. I might disagree, you could multitask lifting surfaces and wiping.

Potentially using a bucket/spray bottle to prevent trips back to the sink. This personally wouldn’t work for most of my messes.

Use a spray bottle.

Use microfiber

Challenge yourself to get under a time

Alternative Ideas

Trade favors with roommates, have them clean the counters in exchange for you doing something else. For instance, you could bulk cook food and trade that. Bulk cooking benefits from reducing the number of set up and tear down actions, win win win.

Hire someone.

Use a disposable cleaning wipe. This eliminates a few steps such as turning on water, waiting for water to warm up, and doing laundry. This would be dependent on how dirty the counter was, if you are cost conscious, and if you are an environmentalist.

Use a vacuum cleaner.

Attach a handle onto a rag/use a kitchen mop, this will let you push further without taking steps.

You could use a towel to push everything on the floor and have a robot vacuum cleaner clean the mess.


This was a first step into Efficient Cleaning. While this wiping counters/tables task might only take a minute or two, the ideas about quality, motion waste/Therbligs, optimal equipment, and optimal pathing might help influence other cleaning activities to help you save time.

ChatGPT vs Google, Information Per Second

This isn’t quite a side by side comparison as these are different tools.

Google can lead you to wikipedia or a website like Efficiency Is Everything that is more detailed and can cite their sources. But Google can also lead you to incorrect answers and SEO Spam.

ChatGPT can combine ideas and give you specific solutions to specific problems. However ChatGPT will give you unwavering confidence despite it being often incorrect.

That said, they are often competing over the solution to our questions. In this study, I look at how long it takes to get information, and how valid the information is.

(Also, any reference of ChatGPT should be replaced with the GPT3 playground when you get used to ChatGPT, with the settings Temperature=0, max length=3000, Show Probabilities= Full Spectrum)

Loading the page

Google: Instant, although someone without ublock origin/adblock might need to time how long it takes to scroll past the ads.

ChatGPT: Minimum 18 seconds. Often ChatGPT’s page never loads. I think this is a poor look, but this may be due to the insane demand they are dealing with. I expect this to be improved. However, this can easily make Google faster in almost every case. To load the page for the first time, it took me 18 seconds of full attention so I could get past the captcha. Once you are in, you are in, until your session times out from inactivity.

What are healthy, cheap, no effort snacks?

Google: 41 seconds. They had 8 items on the page, but I had to scroll down through the blog/SEO spam for ~22 seconds only to find they weren’t cheap. Finally found a reddit post that mostly hit what was needed. 20% accuracy.

ChatGPT: 29 seconds, 50% accuracy.

Winner: ChatGPT

My coworker has an embarrassing illness, should I wish them sympathy?

Google: 67 seconds, not quite what I was looking for.

ChatGPT: 22 seconds, and a way better, and tailored answer

Winner: ChatGPT

What does Platonic Form mean?

Google: 31 seconds, was harder to understand, but led you to deeper information

ChatGPT: 23 seconds, had the bonus of being easy to understand

Winner: Calling this a tie, it really depends what you need. I suppose if you didn’t understand the meaning, ChatGPT would win. If you needed to write a paper, Google would win.

What is the CSS to have a blue background, specifically inline on an HTML page?

Google: 29 seconds, and the first two answers in the SEO spam was not what I was looking for. A casual person making a website might get tripped up.

ChatGPT: 13 seconds

Winner: ChatGPT

What ratios of baking soda and vinegar are needed to clean?

(By the way, this is a trick question, this makes water and salts, its a terrible cleaning solution)

Google: First two links were bad chemistry

ChatGPT: 3 of the 4 answers it gave were bad chemistry

Winner: Efficiency Is Everything’s Engineer Michael Kirk


Use both. Different tools for different jobs. If anything is important, you must fact check ChatGPT. I suppose you should do the same with Google given the outcome of this study.

For soft skills, ChatGPT.

For quick answers that are not critical, ChatGPT

For in depth answers or things that need to be correct, both, but using Google as the primary source of information.

For Math, Google, but use a calculator, excel, python, or something.

Last thoughts: Use both. After a few weeks of ChatGPT usage, move over to the GPT3 Playground. I typically set Temperature=0, max length=3000, Show Probabilities= Full Spectrum.

How To Multitask In 5 Second Increments

As you go through this article, take note of which multitasking is useful to you. There are too many for you to remember when you have only 5 seconds. Pick a few, make it a habit. I’ll share my personal choices for multitasking.

Admittedly I used chatGPT to answer this near impossible question: “How can I multitask during the 3 seconds it takes to turn on the shower?”

The questions asked

Chatgpt is great tool for mixing ideas, its bad at validating them. When using the tool, your job is to validate them. In this case, I wanted to generate time saving tip ideas that I could later review and present.

Given the amount of nonsense generated, there is no way I would post more than this one example

You: How can I multitask during the 3 seconds it takes to turn on the shower?

Chatgpt: There are a few things you can do during the 3 seconds it takes to turn on the shower:

Brush your teeth
Put on your shower shoes
Take off any jewelry or clothing that you won’t need in the shower
Organize your shower essentials (shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.)
Stretch or do a quick workout
Plan your day or make a to-do list
Take a deep breath and mentally prepare for the day ahead
Do a quick meditation or mindfulness exercise.

Time Saving Tips

I read that list and I find the stretch/quick workout, plan your day/todo list, breath, and mindfulness exercise most interesting. I could further ask chatgpt for quick workouts that only take 3 seconds and that can be done while turning on the shower. As someone with terrible posture, I already know what I can spend that time on.

I will spare you further chatgpt queries, but they are for every moment of the day, such as “How can I multitask during the 8 seconds it takes to get out of bed and walk to the shower?” and “How can I multitask when I am talking to my wife about her day?” Sometimes I’ll say things like “No, those answers are terrible because they involve moving and I’m lazy, can you give me 20 more ideas that don’t involve moving?”

Sub 10 second multitasking while physically busy

With only 10 seconds, you basically need to create a habit of doing these. You will not have time to think about them.

  • Repeat a positive quote: I liked the suggestion for taking a few seconds for mindfulness. You should decide your own. As an example, as someone that both wants to achieve and be efficient, I found a quote from Marcus Aurelius “No pointless actions” perfect for this.
  • Breathing exercises: Supposedly it works. I don’t practice it, but I’ve seen 9-20 second long exercises on the low end.
  • Review your goals for the day: This isn’t going through a todo list, this is reminding you of your 1-3 goals for the day.
  • Reviewing important information for an upcoming exam or meeting: Similar to the goals, sometimes I’ll remind myself “Don’t interrupt” or “Make sure you bring up X”. To be honest, I’m not sure this works, but it could just be my fumbling through meetings.
  • Concentrating on your posture and maintaining good alignment: Good reminder. Do it now too.
  • Practicing visualization techniques for high stakes activities or public speaking: One of my favorite authors swears by this, although I should mention I was a fan of this author’s first book.
  • Reviewing the steps to complete a task: Want to kill procrastination? Think about the first physical step that needs to happen. Work out the problem in your head first.
  • Reciting a prayer or spiritual text: Could you knock this out before sitting down at the dinner table or before getting into bed?
  • Saying numbers/letters/facts to your kids : GPT did not come up with this. I just do it. Maybe memorize the Periodic Table of Elements song too.

10 seconds to 5 minutes while physically busy

The 10s multitasking activities can be extended, but here are ones that you probably need more than 10 seconds to get a decent benefit from

  • Listening to (new) music, practicing singing or and tapping your feet to the beat.: Practicing beat changed my skill level with other instruments.
  • Podcasts/Audiobooks: Bonus points for nonfiction, but you do you. GPT also said ‘learn something new’. I’m combining that here.
  • Make a phone call: I highly recommend calling best friends, friends, acquaintances(maybe let them know you are going to call one of these days).
  • Self Reflection: Everyone has different reasons. I recently failed to be a good manager, I was able to run a half marathon without podcasts/audiobooks because I had so much to reflect on.

10 seconds to multitask while the brain is busy

  • Close your eyes and take three deep breaths: I’ll let you decide if this is worth doing. I don’t. I’m also flawed, so maybe this is a good idea.
  • Smile: Supposedly this makes you happier. I believe it.
  • Stretch/Fix posture/engage a muscle: This is redundant from above, but good enough to recommend twice.
  • Drink: Sip water/tea/caffeine drink/other liquids.
  • Look outside/at nature: Supposedly this can be relaxing and mood boosting
  • Clean: Clean your workspace or wherever you are at.
  • Eat a bite of a snack: Works best with things that are ready eat and doesnt need to be preserved. Fruits, peanuts,

10 seconds to 5 minutes while your brain is busy

  • Crochet/Knit: GPT didnt mention this, but I picked this up precisely to do something during work meetings. It was too easy to drift on the internet and not pay attention.
  • Do laundry, clean, or other chores: Hope you don’t need to unmute a meeting. Cooking can work if you know the recipe by heart. If I am talking to a rambler, I can usually clean my entire home including dishes and the kitchen. That usually takes more than 5 minutes.
  • Draw or Sketch: Not sure if you can learn things like depth and shading while thinking of something else. I found drawing/sketching quite valuable to portray my ideas.
  • Play an instrument: I don’t mean to learn new songs, but specifically techniques. For guitar players, the hardest barre chords and galloping. These are strength and finesse things
  • Stretch or light exercise: Anything beyond light exercise will make you pay attention less.
  • Give yourself a quick scalp or neck massage: Might improve your mood for no cost.

10 seconds to 5 minutes of waiting, hands and mind free

  • Answer email/messages: Duh! Now that I see this, I need to merely remember that when I’m waiting a minute
  • Read a book: I’m particularly fond of this one. Epub is my favorite format, followed by the Libby library app.
  • Write a thank you note: My wife writes these and people will call her in praise at how nice the thank you note was.
  • Plan your grocery list/next meal/snack: Research a new recipe or decide which recipe you want. You could check your kitchen inventory to see what is running low.
  • Nap: I thought a 5 minute nap was silly, but… the other day I’m pretty sure I fell asleep in less than a minute. I was tired. So… maybe this could work for you.
  • Declutter digital devices: Clean up pictures, organize notes, unsubscribe from emails, delete apps, etc..
  • Write in your journal: Supposedly writing in a journal makes you more productive, more accountable, and I can assume makes you more money as a result.
  • Knock out a short task you are procrastinating on: I like the idea of either breaking down the task into a manageable part during this time, or actually doing the first step. You can handle 10 seconds to 5 minutes of pain.
  • Meditate: No suggestions here, I have utterly failed to meditate every time I tried.

My Conclusions

These are not the best, this is my experience.

During 5 seconds of being physically busy, I review some sort of ‘next steps’ or ‘goals’. During 5 seconds of mentally busy, fix posture/stretch. With 5 minutes of being physically busy, podcasts/audiobooks, the time cost to turn it on is worth it for 5 minutes of knowledge. ~5 minutes of being mentally busy, cleaning or crocheting, the kitchen is a favorite mindless place to clean. 5 minutes when my hands and mind is free, I’ll read a book on my phone.

Wish you the best in implementation and being more efficient.