Clay Johnson’s Information Diet

October 31, 2011

My information diet consists of a cap of 6 hours a day of total, proactive information consumption. That means everything that requires my explicit attention that doesn't involve another person—television, movies, the Internet, email, social networks—if it involves a URL, a mouse, or a remote control, that goes into that 6 hours. It doesn't mean anything physically social or stuff I have no control over, like advertisements on the subway, or music in the grocery store.

Of that six hours, I spend 2 hours on entertainment and 4 hours on work related research and communication. Sometimes that changes—on weekends, for instance, I spend the full 6 hours doing whatever the heck I want, as long as it's not more than 6 hours. By capping it at 6 hours, it also forces me to do things like go for a long walk with my wife, or cooking a good dinner, or producing information. That's been a heck of an improvement not only on my productivity, but in my marriage and on my overall health.

I've read the manuscript of Clay's upcoming book on this topic, and I wholeheartedly recommend preordering it.