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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Simplify the Internet | Leo Babauta, zenhabits

If you're at all like me, you can spend a lot of time at your computer (or tablet or smart phone) using the Internet ... for productive but also nonproductive purposes. Stuff we find, read and use on the Internet can be interesting, informative, helpful, fun and inspiring. But it also can be time-consuming and time-wasting.

Babauta's column provides a bunch of good ideas to control our time using the Internet. Following all his ideas would be too much for me. But they're all good starting places to consider.

He writes:
How you simplify depends a lot on what you do on a regular basis, and that’s different for everyone.
Babauta grouped his ideas under these headings (followed by some sample ideas):
Simplify Social
Choose 1 or 2 social networks. If you’re going to do Facebook, don’t do other ones too. You can quit Twitter and Instagram. Really you can! It’s not a necessity by a long shot. These days I use Twitter and Google+ (sparingly).
Post infrequently. Yes, I know that many people post several times an hour, but I believe that’s because they don’t choose. Simplifying is about making choices — just put out your best, and cut back on the noise. When I have something I might want to tweet, I say it to someone near me instead (usually).
Simplify Reading
Scan, and Instapaper. Scan through your sources, open a few that look interesting. Scan the article/post, and if it looks worthy of reading, save it to Instapaper (takes 1 second to save it if you use a bookmarklet). Instapaper becomes your bucket to collect interesting reading. Close the tabs, and get out. You don’t need to read all of it right now — do that later. If you read now, you’ll never finish or get anything else done.
I hadn't heard of Instapaper and am checking it out.
Simplify Email
Filter ruthlessly. Every time you get an email in your inbox you don’t really need (notifications, newsletters, ads and brochures, etc.), take 20 seconds to create a filter so that it never hits your inbox. You’ll save tons of time with this small investment.
All the Rest
Let go. You will probably have a difficult time letting go of certain networks, sources, tools, time-wasters. That’s because you’re afraid of missing out. Let me assure you, I’ve let go of many of these, and you aren't missing anything. You’ll live. Breathe, and let go. Also let go of checking often — it’s not important.
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Babauta's article is featured today, Jan. 5, in my online daily paper, Garbl's Simple Dreams--available at the Simplicity tab above and by free email subscription.

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