It’s been a while since I went through all the incoming data I receive and did some house keeping on them. Over the last few weeks I’ve been increasingly adding more and more waves of content that come to me. Anything related to freelancing invariably gets added, but I’m now at the stage where I’ve spread myself to thin. There’s podcasts I haven’t listened to in the couple of weeks, books sitting on my reading list that haven’t been bought, and RSS feeds that I need to unsubscribe from.

It’s time to put up a breakwater.

Books

One technical book. One non-technical book.

That’s the rule I employed a few years ago, but in the last year it’s been thrown out the window and I’ve only been reading one book every few months. Part of the reason for this is that I’ve simply been distracted by other things. Home life, career, finances, programming, gaming, movies and other things have meant that I just haven’t read as much. This isn’t about limiting what I’m reading, but having more time to read by limiting other distractions.

Podcasts

Since I started freelancing I’ve been subscribed to a number of podcasts that focus on this topic and on the Ruby programming language. Truth be told, I haven’t listened to anything on this topic in the last month. It’s merely due to the length of the podcasts themselves. At over an hour each, I find it too long to listen to these. I’ll be unsubscribing to all podcasts with the exception of three. I haven’t decided which three yet, but I need to put a limit in place here if I’m to get any use out of them.

RSS Feeds

I’m currently sitting at just over one hundred RSS feeds in Feedly. Quite a lot if you ask me. My aim is to get this down to 50. Maybe two or three RSS feeds for each topic and selection of my favourites to take it to 50. I could never completely stop using RSS feeds. I find it such a convenient way of reading good content from my favourite blogs.

Half the feeds I simply skip over these days as I’ve found that some blogs just aren’t that active anymore.

Subscriptions

This is paid subscriptions to things such as Railscasts or Caesura Letters.

I’ve got a couple of subscriptions in here that I could do without for the moment. Cutting the subscriptions back that I don’t need at the moment would give me back time to be doing other things.

One thing I have found though is that the email subscriptions I have can largely replace some of the blogs that I am following. Although this does mean more emails hitting my inbox, but my email is quite healthy these days with everything labeled and routed to the appropriate folder when it arrives in my inbox.

I want to make things

Rather than digesting, I need to be producing. Whether it’s a service, product, application or some writing, I’d much rather be making things than reading about what others are doing. In the past I’ve been guilty of worrying too much about what others think and maybe distracted myself with a dig into what’s in my RSS feeds that day. Maybe it’s time to get over that and simply produce something that will intentionally make people think.