That amount is changing with growing access to information.
“A lot” is growing like a bamboo shoot. It’s growing a couple of feet a day but you wouldn’t notice until you see it in a time lapsed video.
Our capacity for information is the same as it’s always been. Comprehension stays the same while inputs are increasing, so the information starts piling up. There’s a glut of info if you have the channels open to the flow.
We’re living in an “attention economy.” And our permission (for attention) is valuable because our attention is limited, so there’re all sorts of ways to get information, like an RSS feed. But I like controlling when I access info. And I don’t like extra emails popping up in my inbox.
Here’s what I’ve been experimenting with for the past couple of weeks.
I created six new files in my browser. One file is called “Daily” and the others are labeled for each day of the workweek, “Monday,” Tuesday…”
Next, I sorted the sites I visit regularly. The stuff I check everyday like my email, the NYT, and Seth Godin’s blog went into the “Daily” file.
All the other sites were assigned somewhat randomly to a day folder with each folder holding three to ten sites.
When I stumble across a new site I like, I bookmark it and it stays in the bookmark file to see if I really want it. And if I do, I’ll move to a day of the week folder.
Now each day of the week I generally only check in on the “Daily” and that day of the week’s folder.
So far I’ve found a week is enough time to allow a site’s material to accumulate.
There’re still the other older folders in my browser from before that’re there for reference, like: Doctors, Spanish, Travel, etc. Usually, I open those on an as needed basis.
Saturday and Sunday don’t have folders. I’m trying to minimize using the computer on the weekends and only open the “Daily” folder.
This new system is working well. I’ll report back after six months or so to let you know if it’s still working well.