Content Overload: Making the Excess of Available Knowledge Work for You

We live in an age of content overload. There’s so much to do. Keeping up with ever changing industries and technological tools is a continual challenge; not to mention all the resources for entertainment and learning outside of your professional field.

Currently, I have:

  • Close to 50 blogs bookmarked
  • Hundreds of movies in my Netflix queue
  • A long list of books in my Amazon wish list (as well as those on my bookshelf I haven’t gotten to yet)
  • A sizeable list of tv shows I hope to view in their entirety in the near future
  • Hundreds of podcasts downloaded I haven’t yet listened to
    …and, of course,
  • A to do list of a variety professional intentions that’s always growing even as I work my way through it
  • I bet you could create a similar list to this.I’m fully cognizant of the privileged position I’m in historically to be able to complain of having just too much quality content at my fingertips. Even so, it does feel like a problem at times. There are so many distractions and technology is developing creative new ways to distract us further all the time.


On the other hand, technology is also creating tools to help us organize and prioritize our various lists and tasks. I wrote recently about my feelings on movie queues and wish lists, but there are also tools readily available for managing a to do list; RSS feeds to help us scan blog headlines and thus prioritize which to read fully; and, personalized ratings systems to help us weed out entertainment that’s likely not worth our time.

There’s also the wisdom of just accepting that we’re simply not going to get to all of it. That nagging to do list is going to continue to keep me from many of those movies, books and tv shows and that’s ok. I don’t seek out great stories so I can check them off a list when I complete them, I do it so I can enjoy them in the moment. My life really won’t be the poorer if I forgo that blog post about a stranger’s trip to Argentina in order to read one that teaches me something new about link building.

We’re all lucky because we get to be choosy. The content overload that occasionally feels like a curse, always reminding us of what we haven’t done yet, is really one of the great privileges of our age. Enjoy it.


Comments are closed.