It’s noisy out there. And that’s affecting your productivity big time. And instead of just talking about it, we decided to do something about it. Starting with our own content.
The Problem with Noise
The noise isn’t just annoying and overwhelming. It’s not just draining your time and attention. It’s also draining your willpower.
Between the 800 million videos on YouTube, 430 million active users on Reddit, and 200 billion Pinterest pins, you already have every single imaginable time-management and productivity fact / idea / strategy / inspiration you could ever hope to need immediately available to you—and in just a few taps, too.
Your problem is not that you just haven’t found the right resource yet.
You’ve found so many right resources that you don’t even know where to begin!
Scientists have measured the amount of data that enters the brain and found that an average person living today processes as much as 74 GB in information a day (that is as much as watching 16 movies), through TV, computers, cell phones, tablets, billboards, and many other gadgets. Every year it is about 5% more than the previous year. Only 500 years ago, 74 GB of information would be what a highly educated person consumed in a lifetime, through books and stories. [source]
All that noise from the TV, social media, advertisements, notifications, the newsfeed—it isn’t just a constant barrage of information washing over you. Your brain is actually trying to process every bit of it.
And your attention has a filter. Every bit of that information is passing through your filter, and being categorized as either important (and worth acting on), or non-important (and worth ignoring). What happens when you overload a filter? It stops working well. The system starts locking up. Waste starts getting through. The filter becomes largely ineffective.
That’s what de facto techno-maximalists do to themselves.
As I’ve written about before, your approach to technology should support your overarching goals and never distract from them.
Several months ago, here at Team Evergreen, we found ourselves taking a long, hard look at our own content production habits. Were we creating content in a way that supported your overarching goals? Sure, we’ve worked hard to keep our content realistic and laser-focused on helping you succeed in time-management, goal-setting, and lifestyle crafting.
But we were also getting messages from people telling us “the only reason I’m still on Instagram is so I don’t miss your content.”
In the seasons when I (Shelby) was trying to grow our Instagram account, I also found myself really struggling with self-control. Instagram (and other social media apps) are engineered in a way that is medically addictive. I finally had to come to grips with the fact that the app worked really well. All of the boundaries and habits I kept putting into place to try to avoid addiction just weren’t effective enough. The Instagram feed was the first place I turned when I felt tired or emotionally challenged, and just wanted to numb out. What made it even worse is that I could justify my time on it as “working.”
Not only that, but I’d finally cracked the nut on how to grow the account. Posting on the grid 2-3 times per day (not using a third-party app to automate it), writing a meaningful comment on 10 relevant accounts right after posting, keeping stories updated, going live weekly, and responding to DMs relatively quickly—at the time, these things would legit grow your account (no idea what works now with the new algorithm 😅).
And it was a part-time job.
As a multi-passionate, homeschooling mama, I’ve learned that you have to intentionally craft your lifestyle, or else every week becomes war zone of competing priorities.
When I stepped back and got really honest with myself, I knew that showing up every day on Instagram was not an essential part of that lifestyle. I wanted my children to enjoy our candlelight morning baskets without the growing suspicion that it was just a photo op.
I wanted to graciously keep up their life updates and notifications, without struggling because I’d already spent my emotional bandwidth on the life updates and notifications of strangers and acquaintances.
I wanted them to know a mama who didn’t walk around with a phone in her hand.
I wanted to feel like I was being just and self-consistent when I said “no” to numbing out with apps on the iPad. I wanted their default to be digital essentialism—because they saw it modeled for them.
I needed to tailor my goal of faithfully producing content for Evergreen—to my lifestyle. And in thinking that through, I started to put two-and-two together. The only reason I was still on Instagram every day was so that I could give content to you guys. And the only reason some of you were still on Instagram every day was so that you could catch the content I was making. And many of you told us you were bummed that most of our content was exclusively showing up on Instagram because you’d ditched social media a long time ago.
That’s when the lightbulb came on.
We’re Calling for an Age of Slow Content
We learned how to serve in an online space by consuming the content published by larger content-driven companies. Much of the advice coming from those quarters were things like:
“Be on every platform, all the time!”
“Whatever your competitors are doing: 10x it!”
“Incentivize them to turn on notifications for your brand!”
“Quantity over quality counts in the digital space.”
“Scatter value bombs in your everyday social media posts, so they get FOMO if they aren’t staying up to date on your content.”
“Send multiple emails per day if you don’t want to be buried in their inbox!”
Meanwhile, in our own lives, we are constantly essentializing. We avoid most of the platforms most of the time. We are giving our attention to brands who created lasting solutions to our problems, not the ones “10x-ing” their output. We’ve turned off all of our own notifications. We filter heavily for quality and are turned off by cheapened quantity. And we absolutely unsubscribe to anyone who shows up in our email inbox multiple times a day (unless there's a really good reason).
Due to our desires to live intentionally, we are ourselves naturally drawn to slow content—long-form, long-lasting content that is thoughtfully crafted and deeply meaningful. This is the content we seek to consume, binge, and then bookmark to return to again and again.
So we’re calling it like it is. Folks are getting tired of all the noise and want better, richer, slower content. Slow content makes people lives better, and doesn’t overwhelm them with nonessential minutiae.
And this is not ultimately about getting off of social media—there are some accounts that we really miss following, who manage to pull off a slow content environment even as they leverage the immediacy of social media for the good of their followers (without inculcating this hectic fear-of-missing-out situation). We admire those accounts, and are looking for ways to do the same thing with our Instagram account.
But we’re no longer going to be putting all of our eggs in one basket: “What can we make sure our followers see TODAY?!”
We’re not the most important thing in your life today and everyday. Your walk with the Lord, your relationships in your home, your own life calling, your impact on your local community—those are the most important things in your life. We want to support your goal to have as much bandwidth as possible to invest deeply in these vital categories.
The Bottom Line
You’re here because you’re passionate about intentional living and making space for the things that matter most in your life.
We’re passionate about that, too.
So we're committed to only sending you things that truly matter and to never bombarding you with meaningless noise.
We're here as essentialist, supportive voices in the background of your journey, steady and ready to serve you when you choose to enter into our engaged stream of content—and quietly cheering you on when you’re nowhere around our parts because you’re so busy living out all those amazing goals you’ve been setting.
And even on the days you didn't engage or leave a comment—that doesn’t mean you’re invisible to us. We see you. We think about and pray for you every time we send a planner booklet to your home, or sift through past orders, or revisit the sweet message you sent us before.
And for every bit of engagement—every comment and every share—we thank you. Your time is precious, and your willingness to help us advance this movement that supports women in fruitful time-management is so deeply appreciated.
Whatever your level of engagement, we’re just so excited that, in some way, for some amount of time, we’ve been able to encourage you and support you in those things.
That, friend, is our why.
Thanks for being here.