Deliberate Screen Time: RSS Feeds

Be Deliberate When You’re in Front of Your Screen — Part 1 of 3

This is the first post in our series on improving your focus and productivity through tips to make your screen time more deliberate.

Do you cringe every time your iPhone gives you your weekly screen time report? Where does all the time go? It may be scrolling through the news of the world, the latest in your industry, or everything you need to know for your fantasy football lineup. You sit down to look up information and soon you are distracted by a clickbait headline, fall down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, or forget entirely what you were looking for in the first place. 

When it Comes to Reducing Screen Time, RSS is Your Friend

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and an RSS feed is a file that houses all of the content on a website. The feed automatically refreshes and displays every new article, podcast, or even YouTube video published. The feed can be super helpful in maintaining your screen time peace. It ensures that you don’t miss any new information published but takes away the need to remember to visit the site regularly or the distraction of following the site on social media and then getting sucked into the social media vortex every time you want to see if there’s new information. 

How to Use RSS

So, we just discussed the benefits of using an RSS feed to reduce screen time, but those benefits aren’t useful if you don’t have an easy and simple way to access them. Enter the RSS reader. This is a website or an app where you subscribe to the feeds of your favorite sites. The reader creates a customized front page for you to find everything you need to keep up with online without the added noise. You can choose to deliberately go to your curated news when you are ready and stay free of distractions. 

There are many apps to choose from, but a few of our favorite apps and programs are Feedler RSS Reader Pro, Pocket, and Feedly.

How to Add a Feed

Each website creates an RSS feed and you can usually find them on the home page, either noted by an icon or a link. If you don’t see one, you can find it in the source code for the site. You can even help yourself get to inbox zero by converting email newsletters into an RSS feed, so you won’t miss the information being sent to you, but you can eliminate email clutter.

What Else Can a Reader Do for You?

While often the design and layouts of these sites are purposefully simple, that does not mean they lack helpful features.

You can also create multiple feeds and segment your feeds based on topics. So an interview with a thought leader in your field,  today’s hearings in congress, and the breakdown of the Pens v Flyers game aren’t all mixed together.

Also, with many of these readers, you don’t have to be aware of specific websites you want to get information from. The readers also act as an aggregator finding and serving you all the content about a company name, topic, or product or any keyword. 

We hope an RSS feeder helps you eliminate distractions, reduce screen time,  and become more deliberate when you’re in front of your screens. Next month, we tackle the constant barrage of notifications on your devices.

We encourage you to call us whenever you need IT support. We are always here to help, so you and your team can focus on growing your business!