In a previous article, we discussed how to blacklist toxic media from our lives.
This time we’ll build upon it by creating a personal feed containing information sources we’ve approved.
The goal remains the same. Limit exposure to negativity yet benefit from outside input related to the world around us.
I tested a 5-Step method that takes 30 minutes to set up and 15-20 minutes (once per week) to tweak to perfection.
Social media users average 2.5 hours per day across various platforms so this time expense pales in comparison.
Step 1: Register a Feedly account
The Feedly application retrieves information published on websites. Blogs and news outlets are common sources.
I prefer receiving new articles in my Feedly instead of searching on the internet.
Because potential distractions are lurking in every nook and cranny on those websites, whether it be a targeted advertisement or a different article using a compelling headline to capture my attention.
Visiting for 1 article turns into viewing 10 articles followed by purchasing stuff I don’t need on Amazon.
There are times when I visit the source website to leave a comment or read more posts from a specific author.
Step 2: Add Up to 100 Sources
I reached the free 100 sources limit quickly at first, but the majority of the sources I assumed were good were later determined to be useless after a thorough evaluation.
The next two steps address this issue.
Step 3: Assign Sources to Categories
Group all the sources into categories based on themes you care about. If you don’t know where to begin, scan my list so you’ll understand the intent behind the approach.
My feed categories:
You can drag and drop the sources underneath the new categories.
Finish organizing everything then logout of Feedly.
Step 4: Filter Sources According to Your Criteria
Wait a week before logging back into Feedly because distancing yourself creates a disconnect between your life and what’s published.
All of a sudden news published 6 days prior appears irrelevant when it doesn’t age well.
Also, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) gradually disappears since we’re reinforcing that being “informed” on current events doesn’t amount to much.
After a week’s passed your Feedly will resemble an unwieldy stack of junk mail sprawled over the kitchen counter.
This is by design…
At this point, it’s super easy to sift through content headlines because no one who values productivity wants to dedicate an entire afternoon to this activity.
Discriminate. Be brutal. Find the slightest reason to ditch a source:
- Does this info benefit me?
- Is this information overly biased?
- Does the author respect its readers?
- Should a source be reviewed more than once per week?
- Are they publishing +300 articles (too much in my opinion)
- Should a source be reviewed once every 3 months or deleted?
Evaluating a source is simple. Start by expanding a category and clicking directly on the source to display its list of published articles.
Scan the list and if there’s nothing interesting purge the source from your Feedly account.
All sources undergo this filtering process 4 times over a month, and the final result is an information feed customized perfectly to your liking.
Step 5. Limit Access to Feedly
This step keeps us from logging in when we feel like procrastinating.
Consider downloading one of the following website blockers:
Below is a screenshot of my Dashboard in Cold Turkey
What you may have noticed already is that the groupings limit my access to things I struggle with.
The idea is to leverage technology to automatically hold distractions at bay while I direct my focus and willpower towards rewarding efforts.
As always, let me know if you have questions.
Give it try. You might be surprised!
Freedom is a Choice,