Supermarket shopping during the COVID-19 lockdown is fraught with danger and inconvenience.
There's the obvious threat to our health as we're forced into close quarters with hordes of other - potentially coronavirus-addled - people.
Who knows if someone sneezed on the avocado we just picked up? It can be scary.
But, for most of us, it's mainly just frustrating that everything takes longer than it used to. Gone are the days when we could waltz in to buy bags of flour and rolls of toilet paper without gaining the permission of a security guard.
Nowadays, if we go at a busy time, we can expect a lengthy wait - perhaps 30 minutes, perhaps longer - just to get in and start our grocery shop.
However there is a way to know when it's a quiet moment, and avoid the disappointment of arriving at your local supermarket to the sight of a 500m queue round the carpark.
The solution is strikingly simple: Google your local supermarket before you go. Then click on the Maps tab, like below.
Once you do this, Google Maps will open on your browser if you're on a computer or on your app if you're using a phone or tablet. If you don't have the Google Maps app on your device, it'll just open the Google Maps webpage like it would on a computer.
Next scroll the bottom section up (marked above), and go to the section just beneath the business details labelled 'popular times'.
This section will come in handy for planning grocery shops in advance, as it tells you how busy the supermarket is at various times based on historical data.
From this I can see that it's best to visit Countdown Mt Eden just after it opens at 9am if I want to avoid other shoppers - and it's worst to visit in the hours just before closing time.
You can also scroll left and right to find out the busy times on other days.
But crucially, there's another function that tells you how busy it is right now - not just based on historical data, but on data Google Maps is picking up from people who are shopping there.
This 'live' function is found just above the popular times section, and tells you how busy it is in relation to the normal wait-time. For instance, it's 'not too busy' at Countdown Mt Eden right now, compared to how busy it normally is at 11am on a Wednesday.
So there you have it: you now have everything you need to evade the crowds when you do your supermarket shop.
And these techniques can be replicated for any other venue - be it cafe, nightclub, gym or anything else - if you want to use them outside of coronavirus lockdown period too.