My 2019 (Planned) Media Diet
Every quarter I use Verne Harnish’s One-Page Personal Plan (OPPP) to make sure I’m being strategic in my personal life. Verne argues that we business operators/leaders plan and strategize like crazy at work, but never do the same for personal lives. I love the concept and have been successfully using the OPPP since 2016.
In January 2018, inspired by a NYT article about not shopping, I unsubscribed from almost all of email newsletters and promotional email lists. I cannot recommend this experiment enough! It was incredibly liberating and freeing to save the energy (I didn’t even realize I was spending every single day!) spent on dealing with the noise in my email inbox. It felt so good, I extended the idea to my information world. I got a lot more intentional about what I wanted to spend my time thinking about and culled my inputs to align with those intentions.
I said goodbye to some old favorites: Seth Godin, Sam Sifton, DealBook, Axios, and many, many others.
I invested in areas that aligned with my intentions: Stratechery, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Farnam Street.
What did I learn about myself in 2018 and how will it impact my strategy in 2019?
I LOVE to read books, but I have to schedule time with them. I like that books are often inefficient enough such that new ideas can rattle around in my head while I’m still reading. This doesn’t happen for me with articles unless I force myself to sit and write about what I’ve read. But, I’m often uninspired to write immediately after reading because I haven’t fully processed… and then I’m on to the next thing… you get my idea.
I need to write more! It’s terrifying to put oneself out in the world, but “the world” forces me to be concise and thoughtful and to make sure my arguments are well constructed. Blogging is my heuristic for guaranteeing that I process and use what I read.
2019 Media Diet:
The Wall Street Journal, daily (except Sundays)
The New York Times, daily
Why daily? And why in print?
1. I smile every morning when the paper is outside of my door. It’s so old fashioned, but I love it. I’m the type of person who gets really excited to check the mail and I think that gene also dictates daily newspaper excitement.
2. A political science professor of mine insisted that we subscribe to the NYT in print. She argued in favor of the serendipity that occurs when one opens a physical newspaper. Both the NYT and WSJ have great digital interfaces that mimic reading a physical paper, but neither displays the entire article (nor accompanying images). Personally, it’s often an image or a pull quote that catches my attention and pulls me into an article I otherwise would have skipped.
3. A physical paper forces you to be present in what you’re reading. I need all the help I can get to practice mindfulness.
Stratechery, thrice per week
Farnam Street, about once or twice per week from the podcast and weekly article
25 books - this is a very realistic goal for myself, but aggressive enough that I need to read at least every weekend, ideally most weekdays
Crossing the Chasm
Tools of Titans
I started this in 2018. This is my “candy” for when I’m too tired to read something meatier. I content is interesting and the advice is actionable/timely. If you believe books are a great way to spend high-quality time learning from admirable, inaccessible people, this book is like Soylent. Dense, easy, full of get tidbits.
I started this in 2018. It’s too dense for me to read before bed, but Taleb keeps coming in my world and I find the argument in this book to be fascinating.