Information clutter

I’m a self admitted information junky and the Internet fuels this obsession. I spend a good portion of every day reading news, articles and generally doing a lot more non-work related research than I’d care to admit to my boss.

As part of this obsession, I have about a million email newsletters, lists and RSS feeds that I subscribe to. My email boxes are bursting at the seams with hundred of unsorted messages, a lot of them unread. I continually end up with a dozen or more tabs open in my browser with content I fully intend to read.

Lately, the signal to noise ratio has seemed overwhelming. In addition somehow when online I lose track of time, time that could be better spent reading books, cleaning up actual clutter, or undertaken any number of other more useful or interesting pursuits. So how to weed through the information clutter and otherwise get myself back on track?

As a first step I’ve started to unsubscribe. There were some sources that were easy to eliminate. For instance, why get emails about Delta Sky Miles when I fly very rarely and have never flown Delta? Some are harder to eliminate, since I know the topic is of interest to me if only I had the time to read it!! However, 25 back issues of the Organic Bytes newsletter tell me that it’s unlikely I’ll make it a priority. I’m hoping that cleaning up my mailboxes will be a start and if nothing else will help ensure I don’t miss something important. It’s all about balance, something I think we could all use more of in our lives.

Any suggestions for me? I’m afraid if I look up the topic I’ll get started down a bunny trail leaving me with another ten tabs worth of material to read. 😉