Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Delete everything and reboot your brain

Too much information can be really bad for you so delete it all and start again. A blank canvas to work on is worth the pain of giving up your precious information streams. In short, freedom rocks.

I’ve just got back online at home. As mentioned previously, having moved flats I had problems with a new ISP and the phone company. I went to my girlfriend’s to steal her wifi regularly. I went to the library and wifi enabled coffee shops too, but I couldn’t keep up. My email was overflowing, my feed reader was jammed and the blog went quiet. It was getting pretty stressful and I was relieved to get everything sorted today.

First thing I did? I opened 2 tabs for my email accounts and another for my blog feeds. 36 emails in one account. 42 emails in the other. 1500+ new items from the 100 or so feeds I follow. Gulp!

Had I read everything it would have taken me days to get through. All the time new items would have piled up too. I was even more stressed than when I didn’t have the internet! So I deleted it all. I declared email and feed bankruptcy and now I’m starting again with a blank canvas.

[Note: The emails were mostly subscriptions I have, not personal emails. Anyone who emailed me personally knew I was having web trouble and so spoke to me about important stuff directly]

It was a scary thing to do I’ll admit. I love information and feel down if I go a couple of days without learning something new or reading something interesting. I’m addicted to blogs for that reason; tonnes of content delivered to me fresh everyday. But it’s debilitating too. Sometimes I can’t get a new idea of my own going for all the good stuff out there. And I often give up on a half-formed idea because I read someone else’s work on a similar topic.

Now though, I’m free. I’m now thinking about ideas for my marketing consultancy business rather than reading the (doubtless interesting and entertaining) thoughts of Seth Godin. I’ve even got time to write this post.

I’m not worried about what I missed, because the blogosphere is such a damn wonderful place I reckon any interesting stuff will crop up again anyway. And I’m not worried about the conversations I missed either because I’m planning to be around for a while, so I’ll get the chance to join in another time.

If anyone reading this is in the same position I was, delete, reboot and start again. I know you won’t regret it.

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