Some simple arithmetic will show you how much time you're spending on finding the path:

[The amount of time it took you to do it last time] minus [the amount of time it will take you next time]

If you come up with something close to zero, then you're running the path, doing it consistently and spending almost no time at all finding a path. You've already found one.

On the other hand, if the first time it took you to write that novel was 8 years, and retyping it would take five days, you're spending virtually all of your time finding out where you're going, not actually typing. Which is why writing novels is more difficult than commuting to work.

A few things to consider as you develop your skills as a pathfinder:

  • If the value you create is in finding the path, are you being patient and generous with yourself as you hack your way through the weeds? You're not a typist, you're an explorer.
  • Are others significantly more efficient and productive at finding paths in your industry? If so, it probably pays to learn what they've figured out.
  • If you're not spending much time at all on pathfinding, what would happen if you did?

Lots of people run paths. Very few have the guts to find a new one.