The first time I used Rescuetime.com and logged my online screen time for two weeks, I was horrified. I prided myself on being a conscious person who made intentional decisions about my time.. but the data showed me something else: hours on apps and sites I didn't care much about. It was a wake-up call.
Many I talk to admit they have no real control or insights about how much time they spend online.
We live in an era of information abundance. Yet no one taught us how to navigate it.
This is a simple framework, but if you've never intentionally considered how you consume information, this can save you hours:
#1: Get clear on your overall goals
The 'perfect day' exercise is a great tool to visualize how you want to spend your time. Imagine a day and write down all you do. How much of that time is spent consuming information? What type of information? This first parameter gives you a sense of what kind of information supports your life. Dare to make big changes: remove apps and sources that don't serve you.
#2: Define input parameters
In Tiago Forte's course Building a Second Brain, there's an exercise called "12 favorite problems". Choose up to 12 questions that matter to you (examples: What does my perfect business look like in 2 years?, How can I help more children feel seen and validated?).
These help filter for relevant information: consume the content that sparks interest surrounding these questions. Dare to remove what doesn't.
#3: Set up 3 simple tools
There are so many tools that can be helpful, but here are three to start with:
Instapaper is a 'Read it later' app to which you can send articles, youtube clips etc. Readwise helps you extract highlights from all types of media. Connect with Instapaper, Twitter, Kindle and podcasts. Connect Readwise to Evernote - a simple note-taking app to store the information you care about.
#4: Create a weekly ritual
Set aside one session each week where you look through it all; this helps you focus and be more intentional. When I do this, I sometimes find that a lot of what I saved is no longer relevant. I also ask myself what information might be useful for, and often find it actionable.
Hope this is helpful, good luck 🙏