I’ve noticed a cycle where I feel like consuming information voraciously. I find a topic and simply cannot get enough of it. During these periods, the bedside table and bookshelves get more full, and my personal knowledgebase gains lots of notes. Then inevitably I’ll hit a wall where reading seems almost intolerable. As far as I can tell, the dramatic slowdown happens after around 3-5 months of hyper-consumption (I’ll borrow that term even though here I’m not referring to buying stuff).
At first, I’d try to resist. I’d put more focus on my reading goal and try to push through the resistance, or worry that I was losing my edge or slacking off.
Lately though, I’ve realized that it’s part of a cycle.
When I feel resistance to reading or learning, it’s a sign that I need to shift gears from consuming information to letting it become synthesized into my current understanding of the world. The best way I’ve found to do that is to focus on creativity.
I’ll turn to writing, drawing, photography, spending lots more time outside, and meditating. Sometimes I still get the nagging feeling that there’s I’m missing out on something or wasting time. Over the years though, I’ve gained more confidence in the cyclical nature of creating and consuming and I can relax more knowing that inevitably the cycle will return and I’ll return to my bookish ways again soon.
Allowing the cycle to play out has not only resulted in less worry or FOMO, it’s resulted in things like returning to post on this, my much neglected blog. It’s a nice middle way.