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How RSI is changing the way I work

I used to flick between applications easily, retaining names and numbers in my short-term memory. But the vocal effort required in switching applications (I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking all the time) now means that these things easily are lost, so I have to write them down. For someone who avoids paper wherever possible, this was strange. I understand why people print out procedures when they need to follow them step-by-step. For them when the window changed on the screen the context was lost. As time goes by, I am finding I can retain more while I switch applications. I wonder if the speech centres in my brain are getting wired to the part that controls the fingers.

When composing e-mails I find myself staring into space a lot more, while I tried to put my words together. When I was typing them the words would flow more easily, and I would delete and reword things if they didn't look good in front of me. This is probably because there is some sort of filter on the speech mechanism, which prevents me saying things which are stupid or offensive or otherwise undesirable, which is not kicking in when I am typing. This may explain why I have got into trouble in the past for sending e-mails and were too harsh and undiplomatic, whereas if I were to talk to someone face-to-face about the issue I would be more measured.

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