If you’re like me, discovering Really Simple Syndication (RSS) was like the heavens parting on a cloudy day. If you’re not like me and you don’t know what RSS is, you realize you’re reading a blog right?
For the first group of people, I read an old interview of Timothy Ferris (who is fast becoming one of my favorite people) at ProBlogger.net. Tim talked about ridding yourself of most RSS feeds and shared that he does not use a feed reader (Gasp!?).
I’m pretty wrapped up in subscribing to every website’s RSS feed I came across in an attempt to be more “productive” by not revisiting a site, while also staying informed.
But this productivity practice, coupled with my severe OCD at keeping ZERO unread items in my Inbox and Feed Reader has lead to what Ferris is telling us to avoid, wasting time.
Tim’s solution: don’t use a feed reader.
My solution: don’t read all of your items. Let some pile up.
Like most RSS users, I’ve got a “Bulk” folder and an “Important” folder. The Important folder I keep up with hourly while the Bulk folder contains very frequent posters (Slashdot, Arstechnica, TechRepublic, etc.).
During work the other day, I only checked my “Important” folder and allowed my bulk to pile up. Just like Tim’s idea of reading email only twice a day. Doing this with your Feeds is equally beneficial. That evening I jumped on and flew through all the Bulk items.
The other option is always to unsubscribe from most of your feeds.
If you can stand allowing your RSS feeds to pile up, then give this a shot and enjoy the productivity gains.
If you’re interested in more about RSS, check out RSS Really Seductive Sapping of my Time