Tuesday, February 17, 2004

On information overload

The coffee drips through the filter as I go out to reach under the car, which is where the newspaper delivery man always throws the paper. With first coffee it is the speed read of the paper accompanied by latest news on the radio. News on the radio in the car on the way to work with the head spinning ahead to the to-do list of the day. Then the phone messages from PR people, contacts, readers - all on different subjects. Deal with those, turn to the email. Same deal plus newsletters and headlines with added spam. Deal with those. Papers being delivered to desk. Mail. Try to get writing. Sink mind into the subject. Answer phone. Try to resume train of thought. Chat from fellow staff - comments on news or politics. Interrupted by phone. Try to resume train of thought. Boss wants something. Leave desk. May as well have coffee.
Back to desk. More phone messages. More email. Try to resume train of thought. A burst of productive writing. Section editor comes to ask for work for new pages. Discuss and agree. Try to resume train of thought. Another section editor with a request. Add to list. Phone request from associate editor. Chase up request. Try to resume train of thought. Person arrives downstairs for appointment. Go down and sign in. Bring up and deal with. Dispatch. Try to resume train of thought. Phone. Realise that hunger is gnawing. Go out and have quick lunch - special dish being assessed for food article. Very nice. Iced coffee. Back to work. A large burst of productive writing. Deadline met.
Change subject - next assignment.
And so it goes on...

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