Having a "GPS" Will Save You Time

I received a sms from a relative recently saying, “missed my turn, uurrrgh” as she arrived at least 30 minutes later than she planned to her new job.

A few years ago, numerous friends were going to meet an American couple visiting Sweden including my family. The couple was staying in a remote place outside of Stockholm. I remember saying to my wife, “I am glad we have GPS as this place would be tough to find without it”. Indeed. It took another couple 45 extra minutes to get there.

Four years ago, I was driving with a colleague to a university. We found the college easily although the campus was quite vast. We were lost trying to find the building we needed. She had been there before so being lost was a bit surprising to me. I said to her, “why don’t you have a GPS”. I don’t remember what her answer was yet it was clear that she wanted one that day.

She informed me that when she began her job (which required visiting universities) in Sweden, it took her much longer to accomplish things because of the time spent looking for universities and buildings.

What do the aforementioned 3 scenarios have in common?

1) If they had a GPS (Global Positioning System), they would have gone directly to their destination.

2) And most importantly, they wasted valuable time – something I don’t think anyone embraces.

It’s interesting to hear people defend the non-GPS way, believing that internet directions or someone giving you directions is better than GPS. When I ask them to tell me how directions on a paper that you have to pick up and look at while driving is better than having exact directions (hands free) to any place in your country (with or without sound), I have yet to get a cohesive answer.

I realize that many are comfortable with the old way of doing things although that same mindset might as well use a typewriter instead of a computer. Did I mention with paper directions, you have to spend time on a computer and then write or print the directions? Or if you dare go with directions someone is writing down for you or giving to you over the telephone, I hope you see the various pitfalls with that path. With a GPS, you simply punch in the address and drive.

If you cannot afford one or don’t travel much by car, not having one is understandable. If you are a car person, a GPS is a must if you care about getting to your destination promptly and not wasting time.

In the last 4 years, I only had one incident where it took me an extra few minutes to find a place because the street wasn’t on the GPS. Why? It was a newly built area and hadn’t been updated to GPS. 99.9% of the time, my device took me straight to my destination.

The woman I mentioned in the third paragraph, wasted more time in one day without a GPS than I did in 4 years with mine. In addition, since I have been lost in far too many cars as a passenger, I rarely travel in that manner unless I have my GPS with me. There’s another benefit, a GPS can be portable!

Can you survive without a GPS? Of course you can although the average car person without one will probably spend needless hours per month trying to find places. You can buy a good one for $100.00 (700 kronor) and the printing of directions and looking at them while driving (very dangerous) will be a thing of the past. In addtion, many mobile phones have GPS which makes it quite easy to use.

Life is complicated and challenging enough for most of us so why complicate it even further. Wasting time is something I try to avoid on a daily basis as it takes away focus, hinders the reaching of goals and lessens the fun in life.

We all have things that waste our time – some out of our control and some in our control. Going places directly and efficiently is something anyone can control.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

In this weather, a GPS will be very useful. (southern Sweden)

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