Friday, January 26, 2007

How embarrassing!

Today I'm going to be on the radio -- which is good, because, as they say, I have a great face for radio. Luckily my desk also has a great face for radio and what the radio audience doesn't see won't hurt them.

WHYY-FM wants to hear about my organizational progress at about 11:15 a.m. this morning. My organizational system, while good, is barely hanging on. I have two unwashed cups, a medical receipt, some cookie crumbs and a few random piles on my desk. The piles are very thin, I will say in my defense.

What's happening? Layoffs happened, which means more work and less of an ability to worry about piles. It's more important to hug my colleagues than clean my desk. At the same time, it's even more important to get a grip because when this transition period ends, everything will change and the pace will pick up even more. I'm learning a new skill -- how to put out an online newsletter, so my reporting gets backed up. I'm delving into a newish beat -- health insurance. There's lots of new information and I'm not sure how to file it because I'm not sure yet what the categories should be. Big papers, like the Wall Street Journal, have multiple reporters to cover health insurance, which is just about a third of what I do.

Email is mounting up. I have 750 in inbox, up from a low of 240, down from a high of 4,300, but there are lots of emails in folders. But my attitude toward this has changed. I used to think it was all my fault. But now I think it's partly a matter of capacity. Companies need to give their workers more online space, just like they supply adequate pens, staplers and toilet paper. I'm spending too much time on dealing with emails and trying to file them and having no room.

That being said, I still have hope and confidence in my system -- it just needs a little love. And don't we all!