We live in a world with a constant stream of data. Thanks to our email, television programming, social media and the news, our feeds and watch list never stop. So, we all learn two truths about it –
First, you can never beat the stream. There’s always more and it always wins. The unread folder doesn’t stay unread for long.
And, second, the stream doesn’t serve you. It just is. And, it is on you to not to serve it.
These truths push us to make a few choices. Three important choices are as follows.
- We need to decide which portions of the stream actually contribute to our productivity and, thus, happiness. It is on us to separate the signal from the noise.
- We need to build systems to limit or ignore the portions we don’t care about. The wider we spread ourselves, the less value we extract from the portions that matter. Filters matter and should be applied thoughtfully.
- Unplugging every once a while helps us get perspective. Dealing with data constantly is exhausting.
Many of us spend huge portions of our life dealing with the stream on our phones, laptops and televisions. Let’s make sure that we’re consciously engaging with it.