James.Random()

James Senior at Microsoft: Like a kid in a candy store

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Woah there cowboy, you've got information overload!

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Ok I have waaaaay too much information coming at me in every direction. I need to cut back on my information addiction... I went to "Informatics Anonymous" last week (saw my boss and Matt there) and got the following things of my chest:

  • I'm subscribed to 30 internal email distribution lists - ranging from Vista to SQL Server to Windows Live.
  • I receive approximately 400 emails a day from internal email distribution lists - I read the important distribution lists when I have time - I normally just delete the others.
  • I receive about 10 items of spam in my inbox per day, the usual stuff - I forward the funniest on to Matt as "Spam of the Day" - he appreciates it because he never gets spam.
  • I receive about 200 items of spam per day which are caught by Outlook's spam filter and put in the junk email folder (one of the problems with having a high profile email address at Microsoft - james@microsoft.com!!) - I empty the folder whenever the Exchange tells me I am over my space limit on the server - there's normally about 5000 emails or so when it gets to this stage.
  • I receive on average 2 emails per day thanking me for creating an account with online websites (people use my email address to signup to websites so they don't receive the spam from the accounts. Another problem with having a high profile email address at Microsoft - james@microsoft.com) These emails get deleted.
  • I receive on average approximately 50 emails a day in my inbox which are intended for me - working up through unread items from the oldest to the newest I choose to act, delete, delegate or defer (I give it a flag which creates a task in Outlook)
  • I subscribe to 54 RSS Feeds which produce on average 200 posts per day - I scan read the most important ones every day

Oh yeah, and I have a nine to five job.

When I tell people about my spam problem, they say why don't you get another email address? Are you kidding? james@microsoft..com - it's great - Outlook catches 99% of it anyway so I don't see it.

So. I'm cutting back. Forget work-life balance, first I need a info-life balance.

I'm going on an information diet. Let's see how I do.

Comments
  • lol, i've got a similar problem, but only with the rss subscriptions, i've got 64, i really don't know how many per day, i try to read them in the morning when i arrive at work and at night when i get home, this morning i had 211 unread items and spent almost .. well the whole morning reading them and drilling into the information, as i read them new ones appear and i cannot resist to read them lol, recently i've been adding a few sharepoint & microsoft blogs so, the information flow has obviously increased.

    I've noticed i spend more and more time reading rss and already thought about doing "an information diet" but then I start thinking [paranoid] that i might loose important info if i stop reading, like if I skip an item it may contain info that someday later could have helped me to solve a problem, and as i said, i really get paranoid about that, plus, it gives me great great pleasure to help other people with the info i learned =)

    I think i've got some kind of trauma wich causes this behaviour, ever since i remember i'm used to carry all the objects i think that may be useful to me, when i was in school i used to always carry all of my books, there were no lockers, so, if there was a change of schedule i was prepared with the right school books for the class =P , it later evolved to hardware, i always carry my laptop with me, and with it an external hd with everything i need in case of a problem with the laptop, productivity applications, backups, etc, also, the laptop recovery cds, a/v cables, card readers, a couple of blank dvds & cds just in case, charger for my headset, pocket pc and laptop(that's another think that freaks me out, battery depletion, nothing worse than to be unable to use your own laptop because of a dead battery, i mean, it's there, you can turn the switch but nothing hapens , a simple charger would solve the problem), i also have a copy of my FireFox profile hosted on a web-server and an always-on pc at home in case i forget about anything(file/info) there, another thing is an everywhere internet-connection, powered by a Vodafone mobile connect card in case i need to fetch info from the net while on the move lol, without all of this i simply feel insecure.

    Oddly enough, if I am 100% sure that I will not need anything of this, I don't get paranoid and i can easely spend a few days without these safety measures with no signs of addiction.

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