Have you gotten to the point where you feel blogs are all repetitive and you are wasting your time reading them, and not getting anything out of it? Here are six tips to keep in mind as you read blogs and news articles online. Our time is precious! Once it’s spent you can’t get it back. Keeping these helpful tips in mind as you read can get you out of that rut and back in control of your precious time.
1. Have I already read this?
If you have read blogs for any decent span of time you get to the point where very little is new anymore. With the tens of millions of blogs and thousands of news sources most certainly someone has already written about it before. With this being said much of the shared knowledge is simply repackaging something that was said somewhere else. The challenge is to not waste your precious time reading something that you have read already simply in another form. Keep this tip in mind as we move onto our next tip.
2. It’s OK To Miss Things
As we just mentioned in the last tip a lot of times different blogs will tell us the same thing just in a different manor. If it’s news worthy then I’m sure lots of people will be sharing it. If it’s a tip or advice well I’m sure that some other blogger will read it and rewrite it as their own soon enough. As you are looking through your feed reader for articles don’t feel like you have to read everything. Scan the title and if it’s something that doesn’t fit into your overall plan as decided by your new optimized plan then just skip it.
3. Is this applicable?
To answer this you need to figure out what is your reason for reading blogs? Is it for news, because you’re looking for advice about tips to better do your job, because it’s about your hobby, or whatever else? Maybe you’re like me and just a knowledge junkie? Anyways whatever your reason stay focused and make sure that what your reading is applicable to what you hope to accomplish. Spending a little time upfront deciding what you hope to learn can save you hours down the road.
4. Can this be leveraged?
How can you use what you just read? Is it news that will be good for gossip or announcing something that will revolutionize the way you do things down the road? It’s very easy to get distracted and simply read to read, but you are wasting valuable time. Read critically and think how this new knowledge can make your life or job easier. You won’t be able to read as quickly or as much, but your reading will mean more.
5. Scan first, read second
I know in the last tip I just said slow down and read critically, but sometimes you find a great article and only part of it is applicable or something new that you don’t already know. Well scan looking for the unique critical sections. Don’t feel that because it’s a good article that you have to read every word especially if three quarters is simply a different way of saying something that you read last week.
6. Is it save worthy?
Maybe you didn’t have time to fully let something soak in or want to share it with someone else? Well save it for later. There are many ways to do this using social bookmark. You can tag it using Delicious. Share it through StumbleUpon, Digg, or Mixx. Sometimes sharing and saving is a great way to avoid some of these problems all together.
The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí
So there you go. Six tips that for people just getting into RSS can save you loads of time and for those who feel overwhelmed can help you get out of the rut. So get out of that blog reader slump and gain more hours in your life to do other things and not feel like you’re missing out.
This post is also a continuation of Matt Herzberger’s post, Signal vs Noise.