Every few months I end up logging onto my RSS reader and clicking the “Mark All As Read”. I clicked that button today with an outstanding RSS inbox of 201 items from 22 feeds.
My email inbox is a version of a TODO list for me. I will keep emails around in my inbox as a constant reminder if there is some action I need to take on them. Once I’m finished, they get archived into the appropriate folder. Probably not too different than most other people. The goal is to have inbox zero.
My approach to my RSS feed is the same, although I am much less rigorous about it. That’s a combination of having a higher input volume from my RSS feeds + not checking it as frequently (I still have not found an RSS mobile application I like!).
There is a tipping point of new RSS posts where it becomes overwhelming, and I can’t even focus on the content of the RSS post I’m reading but rather I think about all the other stuff I’m going to have to read. I want to read them all, I really do, but RSS is not the only thing competeting for my attention. I then do an sorting of what posts / authors I find most interesting / rewarding, and work from there, meaning that every subsequent post I read I’ve valued slightly less. Then, either my time or my interest wanes, I close the feed, and I repeat. And I never quite make up ground, as my current RSS reading habits don’t match the pace of new posts.
So, sometimes I need to hit the reset button and just tell myself I’ll do a better job of staying on top of my RSS feed. I promise this time will be different.