All You Need Is 15 Minutes of Strategic Internet Browsing
Using a Timer and a Notion sheet changed the way I consume information.
Most people believe that if they read something, they know it. I was most people until I realised that couldn’t be further from the truth. I used to spend hours on the internet, consuming articles, videos, books, and more. Unsurprisingly, all that did was leave me feeling saturated and overwhelmed. I left each day with a false sense of accomplishment and no real knowledge.
Ironically, I spent every day looking for these helpful articles, tools and techniques. But when I actually worked on projects where I could use this help, I could never find these resources.
To make it all worse, I’m also easily curious. And by that I mean, I don’t have black and white boundaries to my interests. I like knowing about, well, everything. And while that comes as a handy tool to me as a designer, I often found myself getting into the deep rabbit hole called the internet. I spent countless minutes aimlessly reading anything and everything that showed up on my different newsfeeds.
Here’s the problem with this haphazard and aimless approach:
When you fail to set intentions for your daily reads, you consume content from anywhere and everywhere. You may read one article on how to adopt daily habits, another on which houseplants you should buy, and a third on a round-up of the best fashion trends of 2020. You force your brain to work harder by making it constantly jumping from topic to topic. You’ve now spent thirty minutes. You’ve read too much. And your takeaway is that your habits are self-destructive, you should buy a snake plant, and your wardrobe needs a desperate makeover. What does this do for you? Close to nothing.
So, what was the solution? I didn’t want to stop consuming content because that would mean I would stop growing. To overcome this challenge, I started setting out 15–20 minutes in my day for some intentional browsing. And through this system, I created an entire database of resources that I actually use and retain. This is how you can do the same: