4 Smart Habits for Better Content Consumption

4 Smart Habits for Better Content Consumption

Reader Comments (30)

  1. Hey Stefanie!

    I like your tips here. I’m one who gets very distracted fairly easily, so I have to make sure I get rid of all distractions when I’m learning a new piece of knowledge.

    I definitely need to refine my content consumption!

    I agree with you, you need to be smart with your time and not go in a loop of information. Always seek to learn more and from different places and people.

    Great post and topic!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers! 😀

  2. Any tips on making what you read actionable? I get overwhelmed with all the reading I do to the point I feel like all I’m doing is reading and taking notes but not learning and moving forward.

    • I think we all find ourselves there sometimes — first order of business for me is to block off some time to make a plan. Second order of business is to block off some time to do that plan.

      Get something like the Freedom app to give you a focused block of time, and choose just one of those notes to do something about.

      That “information paralysis” is endemic, and in my experience it won’t go away on its own. You have to set up the structures to take your time back.

    • I think when you get clear and specific about what you want to accomplish, it helps you cut back on reading/taking notes on those things that you don’t apply/move forward with.

      For example, if a writer’s goal is to write one blog post a week, they should focus on the content that helps them achieve that goal.

      They might need to temporarily stop reading about monetization strategies, because that’s a distraction from getting in the habit of writing on a regular basis.

      Once one goal is achieved, you can shift your focus to the next goal. It boils down to one thing at a time. 😉

      • This certainly resonates with me. I find myself not writing or working on my site or information products because I am busy reading about how to do some of those things. And while I tell myself to quit planning and get to the ‘doing,’ my fear is that I will end up wasting time or doing something incorrectly if I move forward without reading all I can.

        • Wasting time and doing things incorrectly are definitely part of the process of moving forward.

          Getting comfortable with that often helps you get un-stuck. 🙂

          Good luck, Beverly!

  3. Hi Stefanie,

    Excellent advice.

    I took it up about 15 notches over the past 6 months. I had never been on an email list as it was, but stopped reading blogs that did not align 100% with what I value. Meaning I let go many blogs even from my niche or similar niches because I only wanted to consume and use stuff I vibed with.

    One weird, painful mental illness – I was largely immune from, thank the gods – that humans cling to: reading blogs they disagree with, then even worse, spending presence time and energy debating, doing the right-wrong bit, when they could be spending that same time and energy speaking to like-minded folks, attracting like-minded readers, clients, customers and business.

    It baffles me how you could succeed so much more quickly by hanging with like-minded folks, and catering to them, but others struggle terribly, spending much time and energy debating, fighting and proving. Well it does and does not confuse me, because these folks are filled with fear, do not love themselves much, and self-punish through their unclear, fighting ways.

    I just read what I dig, and what vibes with what I value, I learn, I befriend, I share value and all seems to expand for me.

    This carries into the offline world too. I have stopped reading many books and ceased watching shows quickly, dropping the hot potato, over the past 6 months. Same deal; not good or bad content or entertainment, just not resonant with me. Billions of people out there, and endless entertainment. Someone or something resonant will pop up quickly.

    Thanks for sharing Stefanie.


  4. Stefanie–Great information here. I had to laugh as I read along because I had just finished spending time earlier unsubscribing from online sources that failed to deliver exactly what I was looking for. It always feels so good when I clear out my subscriptions like that!

    This is actually an area that I’ve not put that much thought to in the past. I’m implementing your tips immediately! So so good! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Useful article Stefanie!
    Another way to get out more is to park interesting content for later using an app like Pocket (I personally simply forward it to a specific gmail address). In that way, you can batch content consumption at specific moments, which is more efficient

  6. Hi, Stefanie,
    Thank you for your helpful tips. They’ve prompted me to respond because a few of them apply to me. Every day, I get a suggested list of posts via Bloglovin on subjects that interest me, namely Writing and Neuroscience, [I’m an author–I’ve had a brain tumour removed–and my wife suffers from Alzheimer’s disease].
    I click on the post link snippets that have most appeal, and read the article on the individual website/blog. In doing so, I hope to absorb at least some of the information, and if I think others might benefit from reading the article, I reblog it on my own website with a direct link back to the original source. Hopefully, this will increase traffic for the original source. (It doesn’t appear to affect traffic to my own website–and I don’t set up any back-links to there, anyway–I only have nine followers, and one of them is myself via my separate Gmail address).
    End result: I read a lot about my chosen topics, but don’t apply them to produce any new writing. I guess lack of confidence and fear of failure are behind my urge to learn more about the craft of writing–ah, yes! I’ve read lots about that, too. 😉
    Whoops! Didn’t mean to bare my soul.
    Thanks again, Stefanie.

  7. These comments and tips are really useful, particularly in the context of improving skills and knowledge, and they address a very common ‘modern’ problem ie shortage of time. I would just like to post a word of caution however…

    I’ve read that people generally are becoming more extreme in their views because they have the option of selecting only the views that immediately resonate and thus reinforce their own opinions. Back in the day, when there was much less media available to consume, people would listen or read all sorts of opinions – some of which might alter or influence their own thinking.

    • That’s a great addition, Fran.

      Sometimes there’s a fine line between exposing yourself to different points of view and wasting your time getting angry at people you disagree with.

      If you can do the former without the latter, you’re in good shape. 🙂

  8. Hi Stephanie and Sonia,
    Thanks for this article – I did a fair amount of squirming while I read it! You’re so right on with your action tips. I delete way too many emails without reading them, while feeling guilty that I may be negatively affecting that person’s ratings.
    There’s something about not wanting to miss anything important- impossible, of course. Now that your article has made me stop and think about it, I’m going to start unsubscribing right away. I can always resubscribe when my focus changes – right? So thank you.
    On Fran’s and Ryan’s points above, I agree that it’s pointless to waste our time arguing with those who opinions are different from our own. At the same time I find it useful to think about some of those different opinions. We all have things to learn no matter how much we know (or don’t) about pretty much anything, and sometimes we learn best from a completely different pov.
    Thanks again for the original post.

  9. Hi Stefanie

    I’m glad you broached the information we consume.

    This actually falls into the company we keep.

    In similar vein to choosing your friends carefully – for the company you keep is not only a reflection of you, it also influences how you feel about yourself – what one reads, listens to and writes about is also company.

    And good company means being selective.

    For example, I’m listening to Mozart as I write this. Why? Because then I’m at my most creative. Because Mozart is excellent company:)

    So, yes, I spent last week unsubscribing from a list of emails the length of my arm. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Great lesson to learn from a few soap dispensers…

  10. I strongly agree with Fran. It’s vital to expose yourself to views that you disagree with. The more you shelter yourself from divergent opinions and attitudes, the less able you become to tolerate differences in the people you deal with in daily life, whether that’s customers, vendors, family members or neighbors from other backgrounds, faiths and lifestyles. That constricts your life, your thinking and your capacity for empathy.

    • Excellent advice, Marcia.

      But when people waste time getting angry at others they disagree with (like I mention in the article), they actually block empathy — they’re not looking to understand another’s point of view, they’re just hung up thinking the other person is wrong.

      I like your suggestion to view divergent opinions and attitudes with an open mind and tolerance.

  11. I’m the worst offender at subscribing in the hope they’ll send me exactly what it is that I need…and then never doing anything with the stuff they DO send. Every time I go on an unsubscribe binge, I always tell myself I’ll be more selective in future…until the next time!

  12. Thanks, Stephanie,
    I found the email in my inbox precisely because I was in the process of deleting and unsubcribing. Incredible how many “shiny objects” there are out there to distract us. I have a busy day job, so staying focussed is absolutely vital. It’s Saturday here in Brisbane, and I have decided to have a “spring clean” of my various inboxes and a training day.
    Great Advice
    John Gates

  13. As an aside, I keep finding the algorithms are closing down my reading/content options (offering up only what I appear to be reading, even if in reality I often flick open an article, and discard if it doesn’t deliver anything new or interesting).

    I’ve had this happen across various platforms when I am researching topics – and I haven’t yet found a way to ‘reset’ so that I can see the full offering again. It means that I am stuck in a falsely created echo-chamber which I would love to escape!

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