Balance what you consume

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Anthony Pica
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Balance what you consume

Balance what you consume

A few years ago I went on a diet.

I used to subscribe to tons of blogs, news outlets, social networks, stocks, subreddits, etc. I managed my intake with multiple apps that I integrated and automated. I was a glutton for information, devouring as much content as I could sink my teeth into.

But something was off...

I realized no matter how fast I consumed information, my plate was always full. The apps continuously served me new content. They monopolized my attention. A kind of technopoly on my time.

Worse, I realized I didn’t retain all the knowledge I consumed. The sparse, bite-sized pieces of information on varying topics—mixed with distractions like text messages and other smartphone notifications—chewed at my mental bandwidth bit by bit. Since I wasn’t in a mindful state, I didn’t fully digest everything I had learned. And since I didn’t retain the knowledge, I couldn’t apply it.

So I went on a diet.

I reduced the number of information sources I follow.

Here’s what I do now:

  • Subscribe to high quality blogs only, like HBR.
  • Immerse in books on a single topic I’m currently interested in.
  • Focus on quality over quantity.
  • Be deliberate about what I consume and when.

Paradoxically, I learn more. I retain what I learn and actually apply it.

Moreover, I make it a point to have downtime and disconnect completely: no content consumption, not even a snack-sized blog article. I recharge my brain and restore mental bandwidth.

Unconscious thought theory (UTT) states that resting your conscious mind gives your unconscious mind time to sort through complex challenges.

Keep in mind: A proper balance between working and resting improves mental health and empowers you to “bring it everyday.”


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