To Do or Else has a great blog post with 3 steps to saving more time with RSS. It’s a fairly simple post if you’re familiar with RSS, but the key thing that I got out of the article was incorporating the 80/20 principle (also known as the Pareto principle) into organizing your rss feeds. In a nutshell: separate your feeds into the top 20% you consistently follow and cling to every word, and the other 80% you infrequently scan.
The 80/20 principle states basically this: 80% of your results comes from 20% of your resources. Or to place it within this context: 80% of the value of all your RSS feeds comes from about 20% of those feeds.
If you’re like me, you have waaaay too many feeds in your rss reader. Honestly, I think I read maybe almost half of them on a consistent basis. So how do I go about deciding which feeds to read? My brain tells me. As a matter of fact, my brain has been trained to do this automatically. I scan the list of updated sites and read the ones that are important, and quickly glance over (or completely ignore) the ones I don’t really care much about. By implementing the 80/20 system, my brain only has to look in one place to get the good stuff it really wants, saving me time and brain juice.
Not only that, but now that we’ve separated the feeds into their proper categories, we get a much clearer perspective on what’s really important. Use this system for a week or so and it will become obvious how unimportant most of those feeds in the 80% folder really are to you. You can use this revelation to trim the fat of your subscription list down to what’s really important. It may be hard to let go of those unused feeds at first, but you didn’t really read them anyway, did you? You’ll be surprised at how much time you’ll save reading the rest.
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