Cut Your Information Consumption

Many of us consume far too much information every day. Not that information is bad, but our brains can only handle so much.

I used to be gripped with the fear of missing out. I developed loyalty to podcasts and news sites, feeling like I had to listen to every episode and read every article. I wouldn’t stop scrolling on Facebook until I saw posts I recognized from an hour before. I was constantly feeding information to my brain, with no breaks for processing.

It was overwhelming. A month ago I checked one of my RSS feeds, and the site pumps out over 500 stories a week, or almost 72 a day. That was 72 things I had to deal with, whether I read the whole story or not.

A few days later I did a similar check with my podcast feed. Same story. There was simply too much content for me to keep up with.

That’s when I realized things had to change. My whole life revolved around clearing out my RSS feeds, video game or reading backlog, reading my favorite subreddits, etc.

So I reevaluated every single source of information I consume. I switched to another news provider that publishes a fifth of the content as my previous site. I prioritized my podcasts ruthlessly, even cutting out some of my favorite shows because I just had too many covering a single topic. I deleted the reddit app from my phone.

Since then, I have been so much happier and my mind has been freed up to actually think. Here’s a short list of things I’ve started doing lately:

  • Creating a framework to help me achieve my goals
  • Meditating
  • Rock climbing
  • Writing
  • Reconnecting with friends

Now I probably would’ve done some of those things anyway (although how effectively, I can’t say) had I not removed roughly half of the various founts of information pumping their knowledge-y goodness into my brain, but I like to think it helped.

At the very least, I have more time to try new things (like the stuff on my list) rather than sifting through all that information.

If you’re looking to free up some mental space, take a look at your information consumption. It’s likely drowning you in too much data. Cut some of it out and see how that changes things!

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