Shards of Consciousness

Think About What You Read

I was reading an article on time management on The Qwertyrash Blogs this morning. The author, Chris Howard, ends with

The person who accepts that they only have 24 hours a day and doesn�t try to cram more into their day than they can, who doesn�t lament a shortage of time and wish for more, will be happier and more efficient - and probably get a good nights sleep.

Truer words were never spoken.In the early days of computers I was content to write a letter, keep a mailing list, or access a BBS with the computer. For my primary sources of information I used books and magazines. Today the internet is my primary source of information. I can find almost anything I want. The problem is, I can find more than I want. This problem affects you, too, especially since the advent of the popularity of blogs.

I read about people tracking 50 - 100 blogs a day and shake my head. Back in the 1970s Alvin Toffler used to talk about information overload. If you are reading that many blogs a day, especially (and hopefully) if you have other information sources that you refer to, you are suffering from information overload. Cut back. Information is food for the mind. Food, to do you any good, has to be digested. Hours you spend reading, taking in the food for thought, are hours you don't spend digesting what you have read.

I read once that 5 - 10 minutes of reading should be balanced by 30 - 60 minutes of thought about what you read. I wouldn't agree with these exact proportions, but for every little bit of reading you do, do a lot of thinking. Be selective in what you read. Take time to digest it. You'll find that you're less stressed and have more time to actually do something, and may even learn that you've been avoiding yourself and your own life by your frenetic attempts to read what others have to say.

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4 Responses to Think About What You Read

  • Ouch - guilty as charged. In fact, since starting blogging seriously in March of this year my reading of printed materials has plummeted to an all time low. I subscribe to about a dozen magazines which largely go unread and have a huge plie of "books I am going to read when I retire." Well, since "retiring" from teaching 2 years ago the pile has probably doubled. As for thinking about what I read.... mmmm... time for a few changes me thinks.

    #107 | Comment by Trevor on June 29, 2006 5:38pm
  • Hi Trevor,

    My wife and I are both voracious readers, but I still work a day job, write software, and work with the movie theatre my wife and I run. My mind can only wrap itself around so much before I started getting confused, so I decided that if I had to be confused, I would rather do it to myself than let someone else do it. I've been a lot happier since I limited my non-fiction to things that I could absorb, and actually were relevant to my own goals.

    #108 | Comment by Richard on June 29, 2006 6:03pm
  • Thanks Rick. Sorry I should have said thanks sooner. :)

    As you now already know, this piece inspired another on my blog titled "Are you over informed".

    So I guess that means... Tag! You're it!

  • Hi Chris,

    You're welcome, but no thanks are necessary.

    I'm it, huh. Actually, I've already started another article based around the last two lines of your article regarding activity and productivity.

    #132 | Comment by Rick on July 3, 2006 5:53am

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