So I got the OK at work to take 9-10 days off for volunteering on the Obama campaign, and I'm trying to decide what the best way to use it would be. I live near Boston.

Option #1 would be all in a single block, the two weeks before the election.

Option #2 would be to only take Fridays and Mondays off, but start earlier in October through the weekend before Election Day, and then also take Election Day off.

Pros and cons under the cut.

One consideration is which is most effective, all things being equal. My intuition suggests starting earlier is better, like how donating earlier is better. I hope commenters have knowledge about that. (Actually, if earlier is better, maybe it'd be best to take most of the time off as soon as possible and then Monday/Election Day?)

Other considerations:

Geography: Should I be canvassing my neighborhood for donations and volunteers, or canvassing NH for votes? Or another state? I could probably crash with friends or family (in order of social ease) in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, or New Mexico. I lived in Ohio and was born in AZ, so I wouldn't feel totally out-of-town in OH or NM.

NH was always the top "return on investment" state on 538.com, but now OH is at the same level, and NM and CO are even hotter. Though that means flying, which will cost a day of travel time and several hundred bucks (which will probably translate into less personal donations).

Of course a lot of this depends on the specific crashing/housing situations in each of these places, because I'm not going to be any good (let alone enjoy it) if I'm stressed out, or stressing my hosts out.

But the timing and geography questions others I hope have insight into...

Originally posted to Zach Alexander on Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 10:00 AM PDT.


What's the most effective use of a Bostonian's 9-10 days off?

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