Making Space

I’ve started a new practice to help with my productivity and clarity of thought. First a little background.

Like many I’m most productive first thing in the morning. My routine is simple: wake up, meditate, coffee, write or code, and finally news & breakfast. I’ve found sometimes if I’m not inspired to write or code I’ll jump straight into news & breakfast.

To counter this I’ve begun to reverse the cycle using a specific tactic. Now if I ever decide to skip the creative part of my morning, I’ll instead begin the consumption cycle by removing sources from it. Delete a feed, unfollow a user, unsubscribe from an email list.

There’s a wonderful cumulative effect at work here. Day after day the more distractions I remove, the more space I find in my head for creativity and free thinking. The next time you feel distracted don’t look for ways to fight through it. Instead look for ways to remove the distractions from your life once and for all.

Turning Streams into Queues

Something that continues to frustrate me when using mobile apps is the disconnect between discovery and consumption.

First let me explain my process. I’m not sure if this is similar to how others work when browsing content streams, but as I scroll through a feed I’m looking for useful articles, lessons, videos, etc.. that I will want to revisit later. Typically out of all the things I come across maybe 5% are something I want to go deeper on. Essentially I’m turning the stream into a queue.

Note, this is all when I’m actively looking for stuff. On the flipside there is content which arrives via channels such as Chrome, Hangouts, Spotify and PocketCasts.  Again, I want to be picky about only paying attention to what’s important and get the rest out of the way as quickly as possible.

Screenshot_2015-02-23-14-22-22What I almost always end up doing is emailing myself links using Android’s built-in sharing feature.  This creates a couple of issues.

1. It’s time consuming to click share, start typing my own email address, click the address, click send. Every time I do this my thoughts are “man this feels like a broken process”.

2. My inbox is sacred ground with a processing and priority system of it’s own. Dumping more things into that queue creates for a sub-optimal workflow there as well.

It feels like there must be a better way to queue content. I’m not really  looking for full blown “read it later” products like Instapaper or Pocket. Every time I’ve tried to use those it’s turned into a dumping ground for long form articles that I never return to. What I’m picturing is something more like a lightweight async task queue for my brain.

Tell me your thoughts. Any tips/tricks you have for handling situations like this?



© 2009 - 2020 Ross Bates