How many inputs have you had today? Here’s my list and ‘methodology’ for an average day:

Emails 220
Newspapers: Four, containing an average of 400 stories and news nibs each 1,600
Twitter: Messages in and out (am not a big fan) 10
Facebook: At least ten times a day where I guess I link across say, 4 items each time 40
Blogs: I have 70 on my Netvibes aggregator, and I guess I follow a link on every other one (I keep my online news feeds here too) 105
BBC Radio 4 Today programme in the morning for 15 minutes, say 10 stories 10
Texts: 20
TV News in the evening: the half hour evening shows contain about 12 stories 12
Total 2,017

Now obviously I don’t read all of these, that’s why I use the term scan. But in some brief moment I have, even if only to reject further time spent, glanced at all of them. And it’s not like they are contained in one part of the day. I would think my morning accounts for the bulk, but as we all know it just keeps on coming. My colleague Steve Rubel posted on what he called the Attention Crash the other other day. Linda Stone coined the phrase Continuous Partial Attention to describe what this does to people and why we are drawn to scan.

I had intended this blog to fit in with that world in that I called it sixtysecondview because I guessed I’d not hold people for longer (still here?). It has made prioritising my time more challenging and I’m not sure our management training and time management courses are equipping us for this new world. And if you are in PR the ability to be able to switch from ‘input and scanning’ mode to ‘focus and doing’ mode is an increasingly important skill.

[tags] Continuous Partial Attention, Attention Crash, Steve Rubel, Linda Stone [/tags]

Categories Technology

7 thoughts on “Scanning

  1. For what it’s worth I remember reading somewhere, sometime ago, that we consume as much information in a day as a Roman centurion used to consume in a lifetime. How they came to that conclusion I have no idea…


  2. If only a centurian could have blogged we would have known exactly what the Romans did for us.


  3. David, half as much as the Greeks 🙂


  4. Is this a new game – like Mornington Cresent? If so can I play too?


  5. Ian good idea. I was talking to Stephen Davies about this and he was going to do his version, so yes, lets see just how manic your day is too!


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