Content, content every where, and no time to think

I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of weeks “realigning” my virtual life because I’ve been drowning in “content” – bookmarks, tweets, Facebook birthdays, unread blog entries, etc. - and I finally hit oversaturation. My virtual cup has runneth over.

I’ve had so much information coming in that I couldn’t possibly process all of it. There is so much to read and most of it is just filler and filler has a way of pushing out all of the good stuff and taking over.

I stepped away from all of it in order to regroup. I realized that I needed to do two things. First, I had to decide what was important to me. Second, I had to purge the things which were not.

In the important category, of all of the things I “create”, this blog is the most important. It is my outlet and I have not been doing much of a service in the writing department lately. This is partially because I have been letting myself drown in distractions and partially because I had crazy self-imposed rules such as only writing one entry a day. If I have a voice and an idea on a particular day and that comes out as three entries in one day, I need to do that. I can’t put ideas in the queue and find any inspiration in them on my down/distracted/low-energy days. Yes, just like everyone else, I have down/distracted/low-energy days and those seem to be the days that I don’t write or I write about something completely uninspired such as how the weather is.

I also have this crazy need to rearrange stuff every so often. I have the itch right now to reset the living room. I’m not sure why I get bored with things when they sit in the same place too long but that compulsion has also spread to this blog and that is why I have posted the new layout I’ve been kicking around in my head over the last few weeks.

Also on the ‘important list’, Twitter comes in second for me and everything else is just me dabbling – Tumblr, Foursquare, and GetGlue are ways for me to like other things publically, such as the shows I like to watch and the places I like to go. Of the blogs which I read, those listed on the right hand side of this page are the ones I care most about.

On the ‘not important’ side of things, I had a lot of cleaning up to do. I purged a lot of blogs I followed. I went through the people I follow on Twitter and cut out about 30 of those. I blocked all of the people I don’t know on Twitter so they are no longer following me either. I’ve decided that Facebook and Google + are more wastes of time than anything else and I’ve really cut down on what I am doing social networking wise. I examined the podcasts I listen to and made the decision to cut out more than half of them and this included some I’ve been pretty dedicated to for years. I even deleted programs off my laptop and backed up and eliminated files I just never got around to reviewing. I deleted a bunch of bookmarks I saved for rainy days that have never come around.

I needed to eliminate the clutter from my virtual life in the same manner that I have eliminated it from my physical life and I needed to do it for the same reason – the clutter, whether real or virtual, can paralyze us. It can take over and snuff out the time we need to create and to learn. I spent more time reading web pages this summer than I did reading books. I spent more time fretting over what to write about than I did just sitting at the laptop and letting the words come out as they should naturally.

My goal now is to throw out “the rules” and write when and where the urge hits and also to narrow the amount of information coming in to a point that I am not wasting my time on the things I shouldn’t be wasting my time on. It’s all about focus and at this specific point in time, I have my focus back. We’ll see how long it lasts!