By popular request, I am publishing today the first article written in English on the blog, a worldwide premiere shall we say. The format is going to be slightly unusual, as this is a type of article I have never written. I often give my impressions about books, music or cinema and not about my own life; time to make a change!
Today I am going to talk about a bad habit that I developed recently and that I find profoundly irritating: scan reading.
There is actually no definition for what it is, so I might have invented the term. It is similar to speed reading, which increases the rate of reading without greatly reducing comprehension, but in my case, it does nothing but decrease it!
Let me explain what I mean then by scan reading: every morning at work, I open my Outlook to find a few emails in my Inbox. As the day progresses, more of these emails come to pollute the space I have, to the point that sometimes I get told off by the stupid machine that the space limit has been reached (and it’s usually after 5 to 10 warnings that I take action, another bad habit called procrastination, for a definition check this). My point being, how many useless emails do I get during the day? About making a difference where you work. Or your VP telling how great your department is. And even the PA saying that the grey Polo with the number plate TG54 KIP has got its lights on…
Think about how much time is wasted reading this so called useful information. So I scan read, I permanently delete emails, to prevent clogging up my Outlook, and to avoid being distracted with random things that do not concern me.
And this is where the problem starts, this bad work habit is taking its toll on my personal life because I have started to scan read some of my private emails, and the worst bit, I think, is that I am starting to ask for information even before I have looked for it, as if the easy option is just to ask someone else to find it for me (ask Marga!). Ridiculous!
Inevitably, another consequence is that I delete things that I shouldn’t have deleted. This actually happens to me all the time, and on countless occasions, I’ve had to ask people to send me the email again.
I realized this a few weeks ago now, and it really really pissed me off because I don’t think I used to act like this before and this is probably because of all the crap that one has to put up with at work.
Hopefully I am not the only freak in this situation and I would welcome any advice on how to fight this bad habit! Alternatively, it is nearly new year, and this could be my new year’s resolution! What’s yours?