Deliberate Consumption

Lately, I’ve found myself listening to an episode of a podcast, thinking about how good it was, and then immediately forgetting the content as the next podcast hits my ears.

So I’ve decided to do two things:

Deliberately consume personal improvement material. 

Don’t put my podcast player on shuffle. Don’t read a random article that pops up in my feed. Don’t buy a book on impulse. If I listen to a personal improvement podcast, give it time to air once it’s over by doing something else and taking notes. If I see an article, bookmark it for later using Pocket, and save book recommendations in Goodreads.

Regularly revisit the best material.

Often, especially now that I’ve kept this blog, I come across things that I think are great and contain many lessons. So I should revisit them, damn it!

Find a good podcast? Save it and listen to it again. Read a good book? Read it again, and implement it chapter by chapter. Stumble on an inspirational or information packed article? Bookmark it and return again later.

Here are the reasons I’ve been consuming things more than one time:

  • inevitably, I miss things the first time through
  • the important points are more likely to sink in if I expose myself to them again
  • if I identify a podcast as important, I can more carefully listen the next time through, and take notes

This idea is the outcome of several trends in my life:

  • cultivating a bias towards taking action (I wrote about it here)
  • consuming too much personal development material without assimilating it
  • learning about committing things to memory by repetition (How to never forget anything ever again)
  • keeping track of what I’m consuming, so that I am reminded of the really good stuff (I try to put out a summary weekly – and I’m shocked at how much good stuff I find. This week’s here)

I’ve already started to implement this. I’ve re-read The Four Agreements. I’ve listened to the Recovering From a Burnout podcast again. I’ve been keeping a list for months of the top podcasts, books, and articles I’ve come across, and I’ll share that soon.

Also importantly, I’ve decided to re-read, deliberately, The Success Principles, with the intention of taking notes and applying the principles in a dedicated fashion. Stay tuned for my progress here.


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