Stop Wasting Your Life Reading The News

I have a quick productivity question for you…

How often do you check the news per day?

1, 2, 5, 15 times a day? More?

News has taken over much of our lives and time.

From our TV’s, computers, email, cell phones, and more… it is everywhere.

But, when is too much news, simply too much?

Too Much News

We have become a society addicted to news.

With so many sources and so many access points, it is hard to not to check the news.

In fact, it is difficult to escape it.

If I have a time management weakness… it is news.

I like reading about new technology, movies, leadership, and yes, time management.

However, I find reading news to be large time waster. It sucks us in and keeps us there until before we know it, minutes and hours have passed.

Here a just a few reasons why watching too much news is a waste of time:

Most Is Trivial – Really, do you need to know what Justin Bieber is doing? Or what professional athlete got arrested? Or what that movie actress was wearing at lunch?

Much Is Wrong – A large portion of the news you hear reported is plain wrong. Really. It contains inaccuracies, fabrications, and in some cases plain out lies.

“Believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see.”

- Ben Franklin

Most Wastes Your Time – News is about making money. Come back after the commercial break. Watch this ad from our sponsor before you can read that article.

Much Is Negative – News loves a scandal. Corruption, sex, crimes. Anything horrific that shocks. Watching the news can bring your positive attitude to a halt in a heartbeat.

Consider these the next time you find yourself endlessly surfing the news and gossip sites.

Limit Your News

Lately, I found myself reading too much news. I decided to take some tough actions to limit my news intake.

I pared down my RSS feeds, virtually stopped visiting big media news sites, and set limits on web surfing.

Here are some of my best tips to “Limit Your News:”

  • Limit Your Time – Set a timer when you read the news. When the time is up, move on to more productive tasks. This is a good way to limit many activities.
  • Go on a News Diet – Try cutting out news altogether, or severely limiting it. From time-to-time, I will go on an all out news fast, not reading any news for several days.
  • Use an RSS Reader – A good way to limit your news intake is to use a filter like an RSS Reader. See my favorite, Reeder.
  • Stop the Surfing – Web surfing will never be a professional sport. So, don’t waste your time hopping from one site to the next. Before you know it, you will have wasted hours of your day reading mindless articles.
  • Read Topic Sites – A good way to stay focused with your news is to stay away from the big media sites. Instead, read expert sites on the topics that you want to learn about. If you want to learn about technology, read the tech sites. If you want to learn about gardening, then read the gardening site. Avoid the general “all topics” sites, as they will lead to the endless web surfing.
  • Talk to Others – I get the majority of my news from my relationships. If something is important enough that I need to know about it, one of my close friends or family members will mention it in conversation. So, stop surfing and start relating to those that are around you.

Your News or Your Life

We only have so much time in our day.

Don’t waste yours surfing sites about endless trivia, bad news, and inaccurate information.

Get the information you need, and then get out there and live your life.

Do you limit your news?

No time for time management? Check out my online course designed to jump start your productivity! Take it online on your time and pace. As well, get direct access to me for advice and questions. Get details or enroll now by clicking here!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • quiet_dedicated

    I limit my time on the net, but I cannot say I don’t like to feel connected to the world :) For that I use tweetdeck.com and leave it on, keep hearing tweet sounds and feel free to check them or not.

  • quiet_dedicated

    I limit my time on the net, but I cannot say I don’t like to feel connected to the world :) For that I use tweetdeck.com and leave it on, keep hearing tweet sounds and feel free to check them or not.

  • mikecatalfamo

    Great tip and nicely presented, particularly WHY it’s a good idea to limit your news consumption. I first became aware of this idea in Tim Ferriss’ book, the 4-Hour Workweek. He also mentions that asking someone what is going on in the news can be a great conversation starter. @tferriss

  • mikecatalfamo

    Great tip and nicely presented, particularly WHY it’s a good idea to limit your news consumption. I first became aware of this idea in Tim Ferriss’ book, the 4-Hour Workweek. He also mentions that asking someone what is going on in the news can be a great conversation starter. @tferriss

  • pekka.kuismanen

    I must confess I’m guilty of checking back with the latest on the economy crisis which I could do only once a day (or even once a week) and it wouldn’t make a difference. Thanks.

  • http://softcubicle.com/ pekka.kuismanen

    I must confess I’m guilty of checking back with the latest on the economy crisis which I could do only once a day (or even once a week) and it wouldn’t make a difference. Thanks.

    • TMNinja

      @pekka.kuismanen Yes, it is tempting to “continually” check for updates.

      I find that if I check only every few days, I am still just as much “in the know.” :)

  • Bob Clarke

    I usually allow myself 15minutes to peruse the newspaper while I eat lunch. Then I pick up the Evening News with dinner. It’s one of the few times I recommend multi-tasking. It’s a great way to stay informed and grab some food at the same time, especially if you are dining alone.

    As for much of the news being negative, I have to agree.

  • Bob Clarke

    I usually allow myself 15minutes to peruse the newspaper while I eat lunch. Then I pick up the Evening News with dinner. It’s one of the few times I recommend multi-tasking. It’s a great way to stay informed and grab some food at the same time, especially if you are dining alone.

    As for much of the news being negative, I have to agree.

  • TMNinja

    @pekka.kuismanen Yes, it is tempting to “continually” check for updates.

    I find that if I check only every few days, I am still just as much “in the know.” :)

  • http://www.timokiander.com/ timokiander

    I have reduced my news consumption dramatically. Only couple of years ago I used to watch every possible news broadcast.

    My thoughts on this are now completely different. I’m using the strategy that Brian Tracy taught: Let the news catch you instead. If the event is big enough, it will reach you.

    Anyway, by cutting the amount of news, I’m not aware of all the negativity that is happening in the world. I just don’t need to be aware of that.

    Cheers,

    Timo

  • http://www.timokiander.com/ timokiander

    I have reduced my news consumption dramatically. Only couple of years ago I used to watch every possible news broadcast.

    My thoughts on this are now completely different. I’m using the strategy that Brian Tracy taught: Let the news catch you instead. If the event is big enough, it will reach you.

    Anyway, by cutting the amount of news, I’m not aware of all the negativity that is happening in the world. I just don’t need to be aware of that.

    Cheers,

    Timo

  • TMNinja

    @timokiander Morning, Timo! How are you doing?

  • TMNinja

    @timokiander Morning, Timo! How are you doing?

    • timokiander

      @TMNinja Just awesome! Me and my wife’s first child (son) was born last week. Lot’s of new things to learn :)

      • FluentBrain

        @timokiander Hey Timo, congrats on the new baby! :)

      • timokiander

        @FluentBrain Thank you very much :)

      • FluentBrain

        @timokiander :-)

  • timokiander

    @TMNinja Just awesome! Me and my wife’s first child (son) was born last week. Lot’s of new things to learn :)

  • Matttanguay

    Most news aren’t valuable, educational, useful. The only news I watch or read about are economy-related. They help me know what’s coming up, and make the right decisions to position myself correctly.

    Now, if only I watched less movies… ;)

  • Matttanguay

    Most news aren’t valuable, educational, useful. The only news I watch or read about are economy-related. They help me know what’s coming up, and make the right decisions to position myself correctly.

    Now, if only I watched less movies… ;)

  • NickyElectric

    Totally agree with you Craig. I stopped watching the news and reading newspapers and feel that I’m far more optimistic and happy as a result. I still keep up with current affairs online, but I avoid the sensationalist news. Whatever you put into your mind will come out in your attitude and actions, so you do really need to protect yourself from the negativity. Great post. Have a sensational but sensationalist-free weekend :D

  • NickyElectric

    Totally agree with you Craig. I stopped watching the news and reading newspapers and feel that I’m far more optimistic and happy as a result. I still keep up with current affairs online, but I avoid the sensationalist news. Whatever you put into your mind will come out in your attitude and actions, so you do really need to protect yourself from the negativity. Great post. Have a sensational but sensationalist-free weekend :D

  • FluentBrain

    @timokiander Hey Timo, congrats on the new baby! :)

  • timokiander

    @FluentBrain Thank you very much :)

  • FluentBrain

    @timokiander :-)

  • RIVEn Architecture

    I already did that and gave up the possibilities of acquiring additional sensible information thru the news, though my job requires me to be more socially aware. Instead, I focused my readings to web articles or books / magazines that comprises the topics I needed. Most importantly, I limit my time on 9GAG! (–,)

  • RIVEn Architecture

    I already did that and gave up the possibilities of acquiring additional sensible information thru the news, though my job requires me to be more socially aware. Instead, I focused my readings to web articles or books / magazines that comprises the topics I needed. Most importantly, I limit my time on 9GAG! (–,)

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