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Fewer inputs, greater output (1)

More than ever, we’re aware that our energy and attention are scarce resources. How are you stewarding yours?

Rather than starting with the fear that you’re frittering your time away, it might help to remind yourself how valuable your attention is: valuable enough that other people are willing to go great lengths (making websites, movies, TV, articles – and adverts) and spend large amounts of money to hold it.

They’re spending money to get your attention because they think it (well, the money you’ll spend later) is worth more than they invest. The question is, what is your attention worth to you? Where would you rather it was, and what is it best spent on or invested in?

This is the “remember your first love” method, and it’s a better way to reduce distractions than focusing on abstention. It’s hardly a sacrifice: “In my down time, I will do my hobby first.”

Once you’ve done that, you can think about reducing time and attention spent on inputs in order to free up more time, energy and attention for the people (including yourself) and projects (including frivolous hobbies) that are most important or satisfying to you. Just generally cutting down or having “Sabbath” or “fast” days are well-worn paths.

A less common approach – especially for the inputs that you feel a responsibility to keep in touch with – is simply to put them on daily or weekly rotation – either by medium, category of content or by author. You might be surprised that there actually is enough time – just not for everything all at once.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...