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When you make big, huge, crazy adjustments to your working life you tend to put thoughts like “how will this affect my free time?” to the back of your brain. “Hey, this is work, work and play are mutually exclusive, right?”

When I ditched the full–time work thing for the part–time work thing and combined it with a full–time study thing, I half–expected everything to magically work out for me. The early mornings wouldn’t mess with my late nights, the hours would magically balance, and my daily web quota (consumption and production) would still be met. For a while, it did; trading a 38 hour working week for a 38 hour study week and a 20 hour working week balanced. At the time it wasn’t apparent how it had balanced, but I was happy with the fact that it had.

Then Fiona got back from Vietnam.

As it turns out, being an attentive boyfriend actually does require time out of your day (who’d’ve thought?) and while Fiona was busy slugging it out with the Viet Kong I’d managed to use that extra time to keep myself afloat. No handholding, no kisses, no dinner, no movies, no sex. I was tired and lonely and missing her desperately; but damnit I was productive. Now she’s back; and between ‘worky work’, ‘study work’, ‘sexy work‘, and ‘the internet’ you can guess what was cut. If this is what happens when geeks get girlfriends (potential Fox series — “When Geeks Get Girlfriends!”) I can only imagine what happens to all the guys who get married, or have kids. Christ.

Desperate for answers, I looked inward to my soul, and remembered the golden rule: your consumption of goodies on the world wide web is inversely proportional to your production of said goodies. It’s not a strong correlation, heavens no, but it is a correlation nonetheless. Reading takes time away from writing sure, but even worse, crapfiltration takes time away from reading takes time away from writing. To free up some time, I’ve resolved to prune my NetNewsWire subscriptions list… quality over quantity. Just like the good ol’ days when you only read what was in your bookmarks because they were all you could bear to check up on every 40 minutes… manually.

Result of prune: 112 subscriptions reduced to 66. That’s a 41% reduction of sites that caught my eye once upon a time but failed to deliver in the long run… the kind of site that will pop up on any number of linklogs (of which I am subscribed to 11) should they prove interesting in the future. Social aggregation… it’s awesome.