How to read to maximize your life

I remember when dads used to wake up and read the paper with their cup of morning joe. Now everyone wakes up in the morning with their phone, tablet or computer to deliver to them the latest and greatest in news, sports, fashion, politics, you name it. Despite the loss of culture and the strain on our eyes, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Trees are certainly thankful for the paperless world we are evolving into. Plus, information can now flow instantly. No more need to find out the most recent news story, trend or gossip report the next morning, it’s all instantly at our fingertips. If you are not much of a reader, you no longer have any excuses. You don’t need to drive to the library for a book, stroll to the stand downtown for a magazine or even walk to your driveway to pick up the paper. It’s right in your hands, buzzing away and begging for your attention. With all of this information overload and the unmentionable convenience factor of it all, it can be hard to decide what we should spend our time on. With these few tips, I think you will find your time more effectively managed to learn about the things you care about and leaving the rest to float in cyberspace without bothering you.

  1. Unsubscribe, then Subscribe

Marketers are like vultures when it comes to consumers. If you give any company with an active marketing team an inch of your personal information, they’ll take it miles long into your inbox. If you’re someone who finds hundreds of emails in your inbox each time you check, you need to do some serious spring cleaning. Instead of taking hours to mark each message as a promo, spam, delete or unsubscribe there are tools that have seen this inbox abuse and have created a God-sent tool: Unroll Me.  This service will help you do some of the dirty work and get your inbox tidied up in no time. After you’ve gotten rid of all the things you don’t want, now carefully choose who you do like to read and subscribe. If you are into cooking, fashion, world news or a local charity, subscribe to those and read them like you would a work email. Find some good ones for useful information and not just advertising garbage. If you like to know about the most popular topics, so you can maintain that beloved work and dinner party banter, subscribe to The Skimm. The beautiful part about this subscription is that it gives you the short and sweet information, not the long drawn out fluff you don’t have time for.

2. Control your notifications

Instagram has blossomed from friends and family sharing photos of their legs in the sand, Starbucks cups, and over-filtered photos of their pets into a growing source of knowledge. If you’re into vintage fashion, pottery, soccer, or maybe you still enjoy those irresistible pics of adorable pets, you can follow hashtags, accounts with tutorials and tips and turn on their notifications. A good way to start filtering all this information is to turn off the notifications of those who you’re tired of seeing every day, mute their stories, and even unfollow if you’re just over it.

3. Get offline info every day

To unwind, refocus on your goals, and to give those beautiful eyeballs a break from the artificial light, take some time to read a magazine, a book or even a newspaper once a day. Go find a porch swing or bench in a park, feel that paper in your hands, and commit to reading along, article, short story or captivating novel. There is so much valuable information online, but the gold is still found in print. If you want the best information (where all the online articles get their source), then drive to the library for a book, stroll to the stand downtown for a magazine or even walk to your driveway to pick up the paper. Reading every day can stimulate your mind, is linked to long-term mental health, and can simply help you enjoy your day that much more.

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