Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
One of the things that has happened in the past few years is that magazines have crept back into my life. At one point I had cancelled all subscriptions except one. Yet when I looked around last weekend, I found seven different magazines in my to-read pile.
I can’t keep up with this many magazines, which is why I have a to-read pile.
Clearly this has gotten out of hand. I need to trim out the fat here. I need to add print media to my media diet.
Newspapers and News Magazines
This isn’t a problem for me, because we only get the paper on Sunday, and I don’t touch it. Some people, though, end up with daily papers piling up.
If you are one of these people, you need to do two things: throw out the backlog, and ramp down your subscription.
Why throw out the backlog? Let’s face it…news media are time sensitive. If you haven’t read the news during the day, it will be outdated by tomorrow. Get rid of them.
If you find yourself with a consistent backlog, it is time to re-evaluate your subscription. We did this a few years ago. We realized the only time we read the paper was on weekends. Since our local paper doesn’t offer a weekends-only plan, we went with just Sundays. See if you can get the paper in a frequency that fits your schedule.
(Or you could do without. I rely on people around me to tell me when something important happens. I haven’t missed a single important news event by going this route.)
For non-news magazines, the question becomes how much value am I getting out of the publication.
I will admit that I will buy magazines in the grocery checkout line because I am attracted by the headlines on the covers. Invariably, I find that I am disappointed in the story attached to the headlines.
Many magazines recycle the same themes over and over again, particularly women’s magazines: organization, diet, cooking, desserts (I just love it when they tack the dessert article right after the diet article), cleaning, finances, relationships.
So the question for these becomes “Am I getting enough value from these magazines to justify me buying them or continuing the subscription?”
Here are my magazines:
- Reader’s Digest. I find myself uplifted by the stories and laughing at the jokes. It stays.
- Women’s World. I like 5 regular features, but find the other health, diet and cooking articles a distraction. A candidate for cancellation, especially since it is a weekly magazine.
- Women’s Day and Family Circle. Always, always I am disappointed in the quality of the articles and the inability to distinguish ads from content. I have to stop buying them.
- Mother Earth News. I love the articles on gardening and cooking, and actually use the information. This one stays.
- National Geographic. No one reads this. Cancel.
- Architectural Digest. My daughter wanted this one, but it ends up in my piles. I don’t like the magazine because the interiors are too perfect and too expensive. Cancel.
- Birds and Blooms. I use the gardening information and ideas. It stays.
So after my media diet, I will be left with three magazines that I enjoy and read.
I have made the determination how to get rid of information overload that is coming at me in print media by assessing my magazines. Are you overwhelmed with print media? Share below.
Photo by theseanster93. Licensed under Creative Commons.