Toolkit on limiting input





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Toolkit on limiting input
By Prashant Sengar • Issue #6 • View online
In the last issue, I wrote about the ways to build better habits from scratch. I also shared my plan to get back on track with my habits and routine. The update is that I have been doing quite well since then — I have not missed a single day of exercise in the last 14 days. I also started reading more in the last few days. Now is the time to start building my writing habit starting today.
In this issue:
  • How we are bombarded with information
  • Why limiting our source of information is important
  • How RSS helps

Source [1]
Source [1]
We are constantly being bombarded by information. We watch videos on YouTube, interact with friends on different social media websites, listen to podcasts on Spotify, read blogs on Medium and other platforms. I have 12 social media or messaging applications on my smartphone. 12! This does not include email, YouTube, and Spotify. Imagine how much information I consume every day. This may be the same in your case too.
Your actions are a consequence of your thoughts. Your thoughts are a consequence of what you consume.
And in the modern age, what you consume is largely a consequence of how you select and refine your social media feed.
Choose better inputs. Get better outputs.
— James Clear
When we choose to let social media companies decide our feed for us, we let them manipulate us. They try to maximize our time spent on their applications to maximize their revenue. Once you are hooked to the platform, it is easy to manipulate your views by gradually exposing you to the manipulative media.
Their algorithm works to capture your attention. It makes you want to come back to check for new content. This is harmful in the long run as it lowers your attention span and makes you less likely to indulge in deep work.
When you take charge of your media feed, YOU decide who gets to influence your thoughts and not some tech company.
How to curate my news feed?
Using RSS
Really Simple Syndication or RSS is a standardized content distribution format. Websites such as blogs, social media websites can publish RSS feeds, which contain their content in the standard format. Users can subscribe to certain RSS feeds and they will receive all the updates directly in their RSS reader.
This means that you can see all blog posts, YouTube channel updates, tweets, and everything else at the same place without visiting each one of the websites one by one. This also means that your feed isn’t being manipulated by those platforms, since all the updates are directly fetched and shown by your RSS reader.
How to start using RSS? Go to an RSS reader app like Inoreader or Feedly [both FREEMIUM] and create an account there. To follow a website, just enter its URL in the search box given and subscribe to the feeds shown.
You can also read your newsletters in your RSS reader app. Kill the newsletter! [FREE] lets you do that by providing an email address and an RSS feed URL. You can test it out by subscribing to the RSS feed of my newsletter ;).
Here is a good guide to help you start using RSS
How to Use RSS Feeds to Boost Your Productivity
If you want to read more about the benefits of using RSS, this is the best article to read
Why I Still Use RSS | atthislink
Using Tweetdeck and Lists on Twitter
If you are an avid Twitter user like me, you must have encountered how Twitter starts suggesting tweets from people whom you don’t follow. Apparently, it is based on my interests. However, I am yet to find a single account whom I followed due to Twitter’s suggested tweets.
Source [3]
Source [3]
With Tweetdeck [3], you can create multiple columns by topic and filter tweets for each of them. You can create different “Lists” on Twitter of the accounts that you want to follow and add a different column for each list. This lets you remove the noise from your Twitter feed.
This is a good starting point for learning to use Tweetdeck
If you want to see some good tools to help you in your RSS journey, Blyat hosts a lot of them. lets you get the RSS feed of almost any website including Instagram, Twitter, Telegram.
[1] Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
[2] If you are on Android, MarinDeck works well.
[3] From Macupdate
Closing Thoughts
If you like this issue, you can read the rest of them here on my website.
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Did you enjoy this issue?
Prashant Sengar

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