Timothy Ferriss, in “The 4-Hour Workweek,” introduced me to the concept of a low-information diet. A few months ago I tried it and liked it.
However, I’ve fallen back into information gluttony, particularly at the news buffet. My browser displays a menu of bad habits: Google News, the Des Moines(IA) Register, the San Jose(CA) Mercury News, Weather Underground, Bloomberg, Slashdot, and Pro Publica. This morning I gorged on topics, trends, and trash. Nothing that I read helped me make today productive, fulfilling, or happy. All I got was a news hangover.
While looking for remedies for my hangover, I found a quote from Einstein, which Ferriss also quotes:
“Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”
While Ferriss proposes a one-week diet, I’m considering a lifestyle change. Diets too often focus on a limited-time period; “Lose ten pounds in two weeks!” The diet may succeed in the short term, but after the diet period old habits return. To capture long-term benefits, you must make a permanent lifestyle change.
I plan to begin a reading lifestyle change soon. I’m considering balancing the mix of my reading, possibly adapting some of Ferriss’s info diet suggestions. My primary objective is to increase my output. Rather than avoid consumption, I want to approach creativity.