My productivity, which has not been at its peak since the arrival of hot weather, except for the writers’ weekend away, has fallen because I’ve relapsed.
For years I’ve called myself a recovering journalist, since anything that interferes with one’s life is an addiction. I’ve managed to keep things under control by limiting myself to a five-minute dose of radio around 9 a.m., twenty minutes of radio and internet around noon and four, and an hour or so in the evening on Google News, BBC, Twitter while fixing and eating dinner, plus a quick peak at BBC online before bed.
Enter Newsify, which has taken over my phone. I signed up for BBC, NPR, Salon, the New Yorker, and NYTimes. When it downloaded, I had something like 150 unread items. They included multiple reports on the latest from Gaza, Ukraine, ebola, and the Argentine default. And also fantastic theater reviews, dancing cats, celebrity gossip, and lots of videos of Stephen Colbert, etc., etc. I paged through everything and quickly found the “mark all as read,” then deleted the Times with the idea that I was seeing the same stuff on the website without useful updates.
So now my unread items are down to sixty-ish twice a day including a great many fascinating stories that take me away from my writing.
One possible solution: I’ll give up all other news (ha!) and limit myself to Newsify.