If it’s not staring me in the face, I probably won’t get round to reading it

In the constant battle with interesting posts I see online and want to read but not now, when I discovered Instapaper I thought it was the answer – so easy to just add a post to my Instapaper so that I can read it later, it even lets you set up folders so you can organise the stuff in a meaningful way, and it lets you add a description so you can make a note to yourself about what this post is about, why you want to read it, even how you came to stumble upon it – all well and good, but how often do I actually open it and read the stuff I’ve put there for later? When exactly is this “later” that we’re talking about anyway? There just isn’t enough time to read all the stuff that I’d like to read, so I glance through what’s new and I pause and read the odd thing that seems interesting and then I see something interesting but I’m running out of time/mental energy so I find some way of keeping it for later and… whichever way I’ve tried, I find that I hardly ever get round to reading them. If I leave a post open in a browser tab, it stands a better chance because I’m actually seeing some kind of heading which reminds me of it – it’s not quite staring me in the face but at least I notice it now and again waving at me.

I’ve found a similar principle with my emails – I have subscribed by email to a whole load of blogs, and at some point I decided to create folders for them, so for example I’ve got a folder for WordPress blogs, and I’ve been putting the updates in there, but that means these emails are filed away and it’s a lot easier to ignore them. Yes, I see the name of the folder in bold and the number of unread items, but, a bit like dust, once it gets past a certain level you stop noticing it. (I recently had a long period of hardly finding time to read blogs because of being busy with proofreading, so a lot of stuff has accumulated.)

So, no, I don’t really have an answer to this, all I know is what I’ve found not to work for me…

And one thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that there are never going to be enough hours in the day for reading everything I’d like to read. I just wish I could feel I’m making wiser decisions about what to read when – I feel that a lot of the time I’m just going with the flow, but there is so much stuff that I don’t even know how to decide, so letting the flow decide for me is the easy route…


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