I do try to take time to read longer stuff during the day, especially if it's on my beat, and I think that I probably don’t do as much of that as I’d like to.
My essentials are The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. I don’t think any of us could live without those. Also, and I say this knowing I’m biased, but now that I don’t live in New York, I love reading New York magazine. It makes me feel like I’m in the city even when I'm 3,000 miles away, and it’s a great encapsulation of not only what’s going on in New York City, but also how New York City views the world. I love going through it on a Saturday and just remembering what it’s like to be in New York.
I have a standing desk and a sitting desk, that I custom built – basically a blogger cockpit. My setup is a standing desk on the left and sitting desk on the right, so I’ll usually rotate. I’ve read all the studies about how sitting is the worst thing, so I try to stand for half the day if I can. I used to do this sort of multi-monitor thing where I’d have TweetDeck on one monitor and other stuff on another, but I never felt like I was able to tear my eyes away from TweetDeck. So now I have two monitors, but I don’t use them at the same time, if that makes sense.
I try very hard to make Twitter a more productive place for me. We tend to think of Twitter as this disembodied thing that just happens to us, but we can actually control it. It’s something that’s supposed to be useful for us, so I’ve started organizing lists, for reporters and publications that I follow on certain beats. If I’m walking the dog, I don’t really care what’s happening to Japanese interest rates, so I’ve put those sorts of feeds and other high volume tweeters into lists and taken them off my main feed.
I think it’s a pretty good workflow. It used to be that I would not be able to tear myself away from Twitter and Facebook, and now I think I’m getting to a place that I accept that sometimes I’ll miss something. It used to be that I’d fear the moment I detoxed from Twitter would be the moment that someone important died or Mark Zuckerberg stepped down from Facebook, and then I’d be the doofus who wasn’t online for that, but that’s increasingly a risk I’m willing to take for my moment of sanity to sort of unplug. I’m willing to wager that nothing huge will happen. Though I will say I do have anxiety every time I turn on my phone after a detox.
I’ll cook dinner and have dinner, then I’ll get ready for the next day. Usually The New York Times and Wall Street Journal will throw out their next day stories around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. California time. Most of my colleagues on the East Coast have probably gone to bed by then, which gives me an opportunity to get a bit of jump on the next day.
In terms of reading for fun, I have this huge pile of books I’ve been meaning to read so sometimes I’ll pluck off the top of that. Part of what’s so thrilling about having this book done is that I now get to read for pleasure. I couldn’t read similar books when I was writing, because if I do that, if I read something like David Foster Wallace while I'm writing a book, I start sounding like David Foster Wallace. I really had to take myself out of reading books unless I absolutely had to while I was writing mine. But now I can catch up on The Hunger Games. I read The Goldfinch, which was fantastic.