This is my daily information intake. What’s yours?

Posted by in Productivity

This is my daily information intake. What's yours?

As much as I try to minimize my daily information intake, I realized that too rarely do I sum up the total consumption as a means to persuade myself to keep on cutting. That means it’s time for the third degree, and everyone is invited. Ready?


How many web sites do you return to daily?


Two – they’re news web sites which don’t fit easily into my RSS regime. I’d eliminate them if I could, but trying to fit them into RSS would – and besides, I cannot find much wrong with


How often do you check these web sites?


Two to three times a day, depending on how much I have to do and if there’s a particular development that I would like to keep closer track of – such as the riots in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak, which are taking place as of this writing.


How much e-mail do you get in a day? Personal and professional?


On average, approximately 35. There’s a heavy overweight of work e-mail, and I process it religiously a few times a day having disabled all notifications and applied rules which ensures all mail is marked read as soon as it arrives. I don’t want the distraction of something “new” waiting for me.


How many e-mail newsletters are you subscribed to?


Three, one of which is from NutshellMail, a service which aggregates my social feeds so that I don’t have to remember manually checking them (and prevent me from the temptations of idle browsing).


How many information sources do you subscribe to via RSS, and how often do you check your queue?


Eighteen sources, and two to three times a day. I need to find a service which delivers summaries twice a day at configurable times, similar to what NutshellMail does. Suggestions are welcome.


How many RSS posts do you receive in a given day?


Approximately 120. It’s too much, even though I only read perhaps one tenth; many things get set aside on a ‘Read later’ list. I’ll be satisfied when I’m down to 60 or less per day, although I suspect it will take a little while to wane me off staying up to date on matters of leisurely or peripheral interest.


Have you been reading a book today?


Not as of this writing, no. I’m attempting to read what I have come to regard as my nemesis; a fantasy book in German, which I purchased in order to improve my proficiency in written German. My progress, if we can call it that, is a little bit more slow-going than usual – although I favour the frequent pauses as opportunities for contemplation.


How often do you read magazines?


I don’t, in fact – with so much high quality content being published online lately, magazines no longer win on quality and I’ve never been fond of their price and portability aspects. I always have my little Android friend with me, which has access to enough reading materials to keep me occupied for days if need be.


How much TV – old school or online – do you watch per day?


This is an area where I excel; I rarely watch TV, and if I do it’ll be a maximum of 40 minutes (or 80 if I splurge) as that’s the time it takes to watch a couple of episodes of whichever show has new episodes available.


How much mail (yes, the analog kind) do you get per day?


That’ll be about 6-7 items comprised advertisements and the few bills that aren’t as yet transferable to my online banking solution. I zip through them to see if there’s anything interesting, then throw them away to keep me from going back and zipping through them again to if I’m taking a moment’s pause.


In summary


From what I can estimate, I most likely spend three to four hours per day consuming and processing information of various kinds – as opposed to producing value or spending time recharging mental batteries. This is negligible compared to my past career as an Editor-in-Chief, yet still more than I would like considering the total sum of my current commitments.


I cannot help but ponder what it would be like to live in the 1800s for a month with access only to perhaps a thousandth of this.


So, that’s me. What about you?