Zeroing Out


Earlier this year, I made a sort of vow to blog more often and zero out my article reading list (which mostly lives in Pocket). A friend on Twitter quickly replied, “Good luck.” I was undaunted though and set out to tackle these unrelated goals.

I’ve been blogging more often—mostly through a weekly photo post and a weekly music post—but the zeroing out of my article list has been much harder to do. Why?

Well, I dug into my 150+ articles which dated back a couple years (yes, that would be 2013) and was able to easily delete a handful. But the problem was, that whatever I found interesting or useful in 2013, was still interesting and useful in 2015. And I got lost reading through the articles I was supposed to be quickly deleting, and consequently, didn’t even make it past a quarter of the backlog. To add to this, I kept adding more.

I have a problem. I am addicted to information.

So like any good addict, I’ve been pretending I don’t have a problem. I tell myself I’m doing better because I stopped adding to my reading list (mostly), but that Pocket icon has been sitting on 105 unread articles for weeks now. I keep telling myself I just have to do a batch delete and all balance shall be restored. Yet, that 105 remains unchanged.

It’s interesting to me how hard it is to just let it go. Why do I give a shit what happened in 2013 or even last month for that matter? I know there is too much information to consume and I certainly have better ways to spend my time.

So here’s the plan: I’m going to zero out that list dammit(!)—and still gather articles in Pocket that I don’t have time to read in the moment—but every weekend, whatever I can’t reasonably get to…[delete].

3/11/15 UPDATE: I did it. Down (then back up) to just 8 articles which are all recent. The act of deleting all that old, unread content helped me to think more broadly about prioritizing my time.

  • tellio

    Good on ya. I have the same issue with tabs and both pinning tabs and the utterly evil but ferociously useful extension TooManyTabs. I should have a rule: if it is in the toread box for more than a week it is either archived to a searchable place or it is deleted forever. That seems harsh, but it is this packrat-titude that gets in the way. I have an idea. Let’s start a new reality show called “Data Hoards” and we can start with ourselves. What can safely be got rid of. I can’t believe that my Gmail account is at 92% full. What can I do, o great anti-hoarders of the world?

    • luhoka

      I think that’s it, Terry: come up with some sort of rule or boundary, then stick to it. Principles for living!