Marcin bloguje

.impressions.memos.tech.

IT Minimalist

This is me at this moment in time:

  • 164 rss channels I’m subscribed to
  • 47 opened browser tabs, in two different browsers (Chrome, Firefox), across two different machines,
  • 29 movies to watch -
  • 44 notes in google keep
  • 78 books to read

This is information overload.

Disclaimer: Please treat this entry as a mind dump - the description of my approach at this moment. These are ways of dealing with information overflow, and also threads. If you’d like to discuss anything related, feel free to write about that in comments’ section.

You can always say I’m just clicking like a madman, or suffering from ADHD or FOMA. Sure, this would be the simplest explanation.

But I’d argue, that my behavior isn’t that rare. People just tend to get lost in this abundance of information. That’s why I’ve tried introducing minimalistic approach in my digital activity.

What is minimalism

There is actually a trend that says - leave only the most important things, have only a hundred of them, this should suffice. You can read about it all around the internet.

In general this is more about simplifying your living, not only its physical aspects. There are lots of advises how to have less on your mind, let go of unimportant things. And this all really helps.

Some of those I’ve tried. And it helped. I’ve stopped blindly gathering things. I’ve thrown away, sold or swapped some others I know I won’t look into again. I’ve somewhat learned how to at best try to be a minimalist in physical world. I’m still struggling to set my mind onto minimalist’s tracks.

What I’ve been lacking was following those rules with my thought processes and my digital activity. The way I can most precisely describe my mind, or what’s happening in it is indycar race with new cars constantly joining without the old ones retiring. This means all the time I get all the weird ideas, some small, like clean the fridge, some bigger, like I need to check this new awesome hardware or software platform, and sometimes they’re just overwhelming but tempting. The kind of bold ones - “get rich young or die trying” kind.

How I deal with this constant stream of “joy”?

  • bullet journal - one journal instead of myriads of little notes all over the place . The idea is really neat, cause it assumes you spent some time reviewing your past, not finished goals and verify whether they’re still things worth pursuing or not,
  • google keep - nice but it is just a virtual bunch of little notes. Great for fast note-scribbling on a mobile. Also they have one huge advantage over paper ones - they’re searchable,
  • pocket - I use this simple app a lot. It allows me to channel all the things that seem like a worthwhile reads to mobile - thus they won’t pollute browser windows. And there is a chance I’ll read them later. There is also another thing about cluttering my pocket account, but by postponing to Pocket you gain time to reconsider if that piece of information is still relevant after some amount of time.

Distractions / sources of “joy”

  • twitter, facebook - sifting through meaningless entries on some of those services try to limit it’s usage, to some amount per day/week
  • newsblur - lots of RSS feeds - I read only the most interesting ones, which means I skim through majority of the feeds. Also I try to follow simple rule - if I want to add a new feed, I look through those already there and try to decide which ones I don’t actively read, or don’t enjoy. It is not obligatory to remove feeds, but the simple act of reconsidering is sometimes the best solution.

Conclusion

Not doing anything isn’t helping. Advising at least some solutions to this data influx is the least we can do. I’ve mentioned just the most useful to me. If you have yours, please share those in the comments.

Comments