sky and i often talk about fighting off our tendencies to treat life like a series of to-do lists, checking things off as you do them. while i manage to consciously shake this off, i am sometimes derailed by a weekend full of social obligations, a pile of new yorkers or a full inbox. overwhelmed, i resort to efficiency mode.
during the year i spent traveling, checking my email was a powerful and intense moment of the day. a full inbox was a stressful delight: while i was happy to read every one of them, their number -- whether big or small -- their content, their injection of momentary homesickness, never failed to feel like a hugely important task to get through. click, read, respond, check!
nowadays that function is filled by google reader. as a daily practice i have it under control. but give me a couple of days with visitors, a weekend out of town, an especially busy week, and suddenly i have 148 items to read, 8 of which are new york times op-ed pieces, 25 of which are design posts, 10 of which are personal blogs and a bunch of other random stuff. stress. i stayed in tonight and i'm down to seven, but they are long ones. to-do list for tomorrow, check.