Information Overload 🤯

How to take control of your time by using code & tech.

Here's a story on how I was overwhelmed by information overload, being stuck to my phone's browser, and how I overcame it in the past 2 weeks. Maybe this could also help someone in the same situation.

The problems which were resulting in me being stuck to my screen were two-fold:

1. Too many Newsletter Subscriptions

Have you faced the situation where your email inbox is lost in a sea of emails. I was stuck in this situation. Whenever I went into my inbox to check a specific email, I used to be stuck in the loop of reading "an interesting email/article".

Pictured: Some interesting articles which I would HAVE to read in case I went through my inbox.

Solution:

I banished all newsletters to Feedly, and organized them into topics. Now, I only go there when I want to catch up on specific newsletters or explore updates from my favorite authors.

Here’s how it looks now:

2. HackerNews Overload 🤖

If you're a complete startup nerd and have been sucked into the YC world, you might have been addicted to HN the same way people get addicted to Instagram or Reddit. Constantly looking for the best posts and updates.

I was the same. Constantly having it open in a tab. In fact, because I liked HN so much I built a screen-reader friendly version of it.

Later, to save my mental energy from constantly checking the front page, I moved to consuming HN from a Telegram Channel. However, the problem with the channel is evident in the image below. The unread count can easily reach 100's in a day or two. Which brings me back to square one.

Solution:

Telegram Bots.

This simple script fetches the previous day's top 20 news items and sends me a message with it. This list is easily readable in 1-2 hours and saves me a lot of time.

const sendHn = async (ids) => {
const currentDate = new Date();
currentDate.setDate(currentDate.getDate() - 1);
const hnResponse = await axios.get(
`https://hn.algolia.com/api/v1/search?tags=story&numericFilters=created_at_i>${
currentDate.valueOf() / 1000
}`
);
const message = `
Today's top HN stories were:
${hnResponse.data.hits
.map(
(hit, index) =>
`\n\n${index + 1}. ${hit.title}\nhttps://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=${
hit.objectID
}\nPoints: ${hit.points}`
)
.join("")}
`;
for (const id of ids) {
bot.telegram.sendMessage(id, message);
}
};
view raw hn.js hosted with ❤ by GitHub

So what am I doing with all of the time I save? Reading. A lot.

I just finished Zero to One (which I felt lacked direction), and am currently speeding through Sapiens (120 pages through in ~3 days).

That’s all folks :). Thanks for reading my thoughts, if you’re interested in receiving my emails in your inbox, why not subscribe below, or subscribe to the RSS feed?