Scaling back…

I was beginning to think along these lines anyway, but Matt Wood over at Merlin’s great 43Folders productivity site says it really well

This is the time of the year for everybody to make lame, half-hearted resolutions about how they’re going to lead a better life in the new year: lose weight, stop smoking, eat less fried cheese, take a ceramics class, etc.

[I]t is a new year, and it’s not a bad idea to at least try to alter some of your bad habits, pick up a new skill, or do something to make yourself happier. My suggestion for this year addresses a problem I suspect many of the people who read this site have: the sheer number of online commitments—that is, blogs, social networks, message groups, IM accounts, Flickr, Twitter, and any other online time sink that ends with an R—that we try to maintain.

A couple of my posts in the past few weeks dealt with the problem of trying to consume too much information. What about how much we try to produce? At one point last fall, I realized I was trying to run five blogs, two Flickr accounts, and a del.icio.us page, all the while keeping up a constant patter on Twitter, IM, and email. Only two of those things were strictly necessary for my work; the rest just made their way into my life somehow. Sure, I was doing a lot of it because it was fun, but I knew I had to scale back or else I was going to end up speaking only in 140-character, hyperlinked sentences.

My problem, and I suspect this will resonate with many of you, is that I felt like I needed to do many of these things to keep up with the techno-jonses.

Well, my tally is currently 6 blogs, Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook, del.icio.us, Flickr and numerous others… I think it’s time to cut back.  I’ll let you know what gets dropped…

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!