Do you want to keep up with the topics that interest you but don't feel like you have the time?
If you're anything like me, you like to keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on in tech, marketing, media, investing, and a smattering of other niche topics that light you up. However, you're probably overwhelmed by the amount of content and the lack of time to consume it.
I've found a nice little workaround that's been an absolute game-changer for me. It allows me to keep up to date with most of what's happening in the areas that I'm interested in, go down rabbit-holes, and build deep knowledge on topics that I like.
I call it "The Content Cheat Day."
In the world of health and dieting, everyone knows what a cheat day is. Many books about health actually recommend having a cheat day.
A cheat day is essentially a day where you throw your diet out the window and eat whatever you want and as much as you want. There is some science around this, spiking insulin levels for a day so that your body doesn't get used to the new (healthier) normal (But that's beyond the point of this article).
This cheat day also has the side benefit of just getting the gorging out of your system. Whatever you crave during the week, you delay gratification until your cheat day. Then, on your cheat day, you'll often overindulge so much that you're happy to not eat that junk for another week. You got the impulse out of your system.
So what does this have to do with content?
I'm a big proponent of producing a lot of content. I think many people will consume so much content, get great ideas, have a better understanding of things, and then never actually do anything to integrate what they've learned into their lives. They consume but they don't produce.
My workaround is "The Content Cheat Day."
I have one day per week where I literally spend ALL DAY consuming content. For about 8-10 hours on Wednesdays, I will consume all day long. It typically looks like 3-4 hours of focused reading time where I'll read books, blog posts, white-papers, Reddit threads, etc. about whatever topic I'm "rabbit-holing" down. Then it's another 4-6 hours of YouTube videos, online courses I've purchased, podcasts, and livestreams.
I spend the whole day with a notebook and pen in my hands, scribbling down notes from all of the content that I'm consuming. I'm tying ideas together, connecting dots, and jotting down side-thoughts that pop into my head.
It's pure content gluttony for an entire day.
You'll never believe it but, by the end of the day, I'm good for the week. I no longer have a desire to go down YouTube rabbit-holes or check-in on random blogs.
I've purposely overexposed myself to content so that it's out of my system.
The rest of the week I can focus on creation. I can jump on our podcast and share insights about what I've learned. I can report back to Joe about what ideas really excited me from the day. I can write blog posts like this where I unload my random musings.
I have downloaded to my max capacity and know all I want to do is upload.
Using this method, and really constraining my content consumption within a set window, has allowed me to keep my finger on the pulse of what's happening, gives me my "fix" of my content addiction, gives me tons of fodder for future content, and burns me out (by design) on consuming even more content.
I've been doing this process for about a month now and it's been absolutely game-changing.
Now, I'm building a system inside Notion to keep track of all of the content I consume on my cheat days... But that's still a work in progress so I'll save that for a different day.
Until then, give it a try. Test implementing a content cheat day into your weekly routine.