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How NOT to “Keep Up”

Posted By Darren Rowse 1st of May 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 7

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by ‘reading’?

Sometimes I get to the end of a day and look at all the unread items in my life (email, RSS feeds, books, magazines, newspapers, articles) and feel quite ill. I have great intentions of reading them all but with only 24 hours in a day and with a family life, social life, work life etc it’s just not possible to ‘keep up’ with it all.

If you feel like this Creating Passionate Users has a good post which you might like to read on The myth of “keeping up”.

While the post is probably more about reading ‘hardcopy’ (ie books, manuals, magazines etc) I think that it’s easily applied to ‘e-copy’ which many bloggers become overwhelmed by in their quest to keep their blog up to date and to keep their head around the niche that they write in. Here are a few of the headings that Kathy writes about that might help us tackle the ‘keeping up’ addiction that many of us face:

  • Find the best aggregators
  • Get summaries
  • Cut the redundancy!
  • Unsubscribe to as many things as possible
  • Recognize that gossip and celebrity entertainment are black holes
  • Pick the categories you want for a balanced perspective, and include some from OUTSIDE your main field of interest
  • Be a LOT more realistic about what you’re likely to get to, and throw the rest out
About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Sometimes, it’s like the rabbit hole…

    The “one more page” syndrome I call it.

  2. Amazing, too, what happens when you stop reading so much, and start really putting your time into writing…your blog grows and so does your readership.

    I cleared about 50% of my feed list, and I am SOOOOO much more productive.

    Oh yeah, and I don’t feel like I’m constantly running a race!

    :D

  3. This is one reason I switched back to Kinja for my feed reading needs. It was just getting too stressful to follow over two hundred feeds every day. You can’t drink a river with a cup — you have to sit on the banks and watch the current flow by.

  4. The assertions are spot on.
    Often I’ll hear much of the news on the radio and simply search the news sites for what interests me, brushing past the ones I already heard that don’t especially interest me.
    Same with the newspapers.

  5. By far the best RSS reader I have found is not an RSS reader at all, but rather Google’s Personalized Desktop.

    I have about 200+ RSS feeds I monitor, but I only care about certain article topics. Once I added all the feeds to Google’s Personalized Homepage I was able to skim the titles of about all 200+ feed’s 500+ articles in about 2 minutes (since the GPH only shows titles), openning up the articles I REALLY want to read in tabs.

    Then, I spend about 30 minutes to read through all the articles (normally about 15) and I’m done for the day.

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Darren. I was feeling a little overwhelmed today about not being able to read everything in my “pile”. So instead, I skipped everything and stayed in bed until 2 pm, had an ice cream cone, and played “Connect Four”. Sometimes you just need to do that to put everything into perspective :)

  7. A resource that I’ve found helpful in keeping up with things that need to be read (so long as it’s digital anyway) is an app called Readplease, I use the free version, and it doesn’t sound as much like a robot as similair programs like it do that I’ve tested. I cringe to look back to when I had to rely on my reading speed alone to keep up…lol

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