Do you feel inundated every morning? How can we focus when our world is full of so much stuff?
The amount of information we create every year is now in the zettabytes, which is 10 to the power of 26. Frankly, a lot of that information sucks. Case in point, Twitter, the blood of the internet, is testing a new feature that will curate your feed automatically based upon previous web page visits. This change is the catch-22 of a successful internet company: incredibly viral, scalable, addicting, and often full of irrelevant information.
While information is being created at an explosive rate, quality is definitely not correlated. Not everything we put on the internet is a gem. For an entrepreneur, there are endless opportunities to
learn be distracted. The high amount of noise makes it difficult to delineate what is valuable and what is not.
Here is what I would avoid reading on a daily basis to save your time and mind for things that matter:
- Forbes Blogs
Before you bring your pitchfork to my inbox, let me highlight my caveat. I advise against reading the above sites on a daily basis.
Having spent 3+ years reading the sites above, the quality per post vary widely and their strategy is to seed the internet with a ton of posts, crossing their fingers that one of post will be a hit. The counter strategy for the reader is to use filters (ex. social networks, Hackernews) to weed through the brush. Use social proof and friend referral as a curation tool.
Here are four laws of keeping your reader account doable and your mailbox empty:
- Niche even more and then again - If you are into tech or an entrepreneur, you probably already have a niched reading list. Do it again, make more cuts. It is never enough.
- Allocate short-term and long-term needs - You should always be sharpening your mental toolbox and challenging your assumptions on daily tasks; however, balance your reading list with your long-term goals. For example, I am not fundraising anymore, so I stopped reading blogs on fundraising, but every morning I read posts from other growth hackers like Dan Martel, Andrew Chen, and Hiten Shah. I removed fundraising as a daily topic to focus on my long-run goal of getting better at my craft.
- Monthly expiration date - If you have not read a post for a blog you subscribe too in a month, unsubscribe right now. Don’t let the “I could miss something” bug get to you. Seth Godin’s said, “if it is important, it will also be important tomorrow.” Valuable information will last.
- Love is a different type of work- Don’t over-optimize and get ahead of yourself. Leave mental space and time for things you love. I still read healthcare and political news because I thoroughly enjoy it.
In a world infested with irrelevant information and mounds of data, the time is now to take a step back. Let those readers who eat everything that the tech news world bakes tell you if it tastes good or not. You have better things to do with your time.
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