3 min read

Take more time to unplug

Don't become so consumed with living life the "right" way that you forget to live
Take more time to unplug
Photo by Paul Melki / Unsplash

I used to hate vacuuming.

And not just for the obvious reason that chores suck. In reality, vacuuming meant that I had to pause the podcast I was listening to while cleaning since I couldn't hear my headphones over the violent hum of the vacuum.

My intention is not to shame those of you who may listen to podcasts while cleaning or doing chores. It's a really good way to make those sucky tasks more palatable. I say this to represent how I was trying to cram learning and input into every 'free' moment in my day.

Can you learn too much?

I was reading a book for 10 minutes during a carefully curated morning routine, reading email newsletters on my bus commute, listening to podcasts about growth in the car, while walking, doing the dishes, or anytime I could pop my earbuds in.  

It was the best. I was inspired. I had some powerful statements logged away in Evernote.

And I was exhausted. I wasn't giving myself time to just be. Time to wind down my brain.

It wasn't until the last 4-6 months that I started to reject this ongoing fluid learning. So, the case I'll make today is that in our world with so much access to information, books, podcasts, online courses, and Instagram celebrities we should actually do less learning.

This means being able to have strong criteria for what you allow in and filter out a crap ton of the rest.

The true cost of too much learning

If you think about it from a cost-benefit standpoint I believe the costs far outweigh the benefits.

The benefits of constant focused learning are you may find a needle in the haystack every handful of hours you put into consuming.

However, let's look at the costs:

  • You alienate relationships by being plugged in constantly
  • Become addicted to finding a magic bullet (that doesn't exist, sorry...)
  • Don't allow your brain enough time and space to marinate on all the other stuff that's already tossing around up there
  • A nagging feeling like you should constantly be doing something different/better
  • Open yourself up to distraction from your main priorities by getting excited about a new idea. This is especially troublesome if you own a business or manage people since your people are likely frustrated by the urgent new priority you're all of the sudden excited about this week
  • Plus, since you are seeking out the perfect success secret it's guaranteed not to come. That's just how it works.

I chose to give up the main podcast bros since there was never enough consistent value.

Choose your inputs

Finally, for the most part, I'm choosing to read VERY few books as they are published or even within the last few years. The dirty secret of most current top business and self-help books is that the authors follow a smart playbook to engineer popularity using social media and podcast appearances.

I'm waiting for books and other content to stand the test of time. Those have the best probability of changing my life.

I don't want to become so consumed with living life the "right" way that I forget to live.

Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to end burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it with no help of the hacky advice out there.

Get my top tools and courage to quit burnout weekly without leaving your corporate job 😌

✉️  Sustain is my signature weekly email that readers describe as an 'epic message'.  Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

✉️ How I Quit Burnout is my premium newsletter containing all my tested and data-backed strategies.  Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

🗄️ See the past issues of Sustain and How I Quit Burnout

📣 Have ideas, want to contribute, or book me? Let's chat