September 1, 2015
I’m launching a weekly enewsletter to ensure I absorb something from the social media firehose.
I’ve already written about research showing that people share stuff they don’t actually read, for reasons buried deep in our dopamine-fixated minds:
But even as you take a closer look, you feel FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) tugging you back to the Feed… So rather than take the time to read it, you do the next best thing – you share it. It takes less time, and will help you find and read it later. Except, of course, that the Feed will never allow you the time. Because the world rushes on, and you’re missing it.
– Get a process: Read before you Share! (LinkedIn, May 2014).
TL;DR: you need some mind/lifehacks to ensure you’re actually reading, learning and making yourself more intelligent, and not just clicking, clicking, clicking to make yourself look more intelligent.
Since writing the above post I’ve set out my current GTD process on Medium, but over the summer I’ve added a new weekly routine: a newsletter. Why?
“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”– Yogi Bhajan
Well, a newsletter cannot aspire to teach, but writing my first four editions has definitely deepened my understanding of the material I’m reading every day.
Deepening my learning process
- I’ve added a recurring weekly task (“write a new edition“) to my GTD processes;
- I start by scanning the resources I’ve curated to my Hub during my daily GTD processes over the past week to identify 1-3 main topics;
- then I simply post a summary, and send it to my test subscribers.
So far my test subscribers tell me they like it, but I’m not actually doing it for them, or my profile, or my Klout score, or whatever. My goal is to internalise the excellent content I feed myself every morning.
Building on a daily process
It helps that my daily curation process involves more than simply bookmarking Titles & URLs.
Instead, each time I “Hub” a useful resource, I select one or more quotes and sometimes add a comment, direct from the Diigo popup – in effect ‘pre-blogging’ direct from the resource I’m Storing for later use.
I publish them because, well, why not? IFTTT costs nothing:
These Hub’d resources – longer than a Tweet, shorter than a post – are half-finished snippets for my blog, collected and shared every morning and most afternoons. If news is the first draft of history, and blogging the first draft of the news, these are public, zeroth drafts of my first draft of the first draft of history
Writing a weekly newsletter ensures that the most interesting ones are lodged securely somewhere in my mind.Mathew Lowry