10 Reasons You Should Stop Checking the News

We have become a news addicted society.

Doubt it?

How many times did you read the news so far today?

How many more times will you check it before bedtime?

When All News is Breaking News

If you turn on the TV or check your favorite news website, chances are that there will be a banner that says “BREAKING NEWS.”

Like some disaster has just occurred.

Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) it is usually just some trivial event or topic that you could care less about.

News is meant to inform, educate, and discuss the important topics of the day. 

Unfortunately, most news these days is entertainment, sensationalism, and basically a waste of your time.

So, how much of your time do you spend reading the news?

For most individuals, the news takes up too much of their time each day.

We now get it on our TVs, computers, laptops, iPads, and smartphones. It’s everywhere.

In a world where you can get the answer to anything with the push of a button, do you really need to read it all?

Less News = More Productivity

What could you get done if you read less news?

Chances are that you could reclaim a good amount of time in your day.

So, instead of saying you don’t have time to do this or that… stop checking the news.

Here are 10 Reasons Your Should Stop Checking the News: 

  1. It Doesn’t Change That Often – Really, it doesn’t. You don’t need to check it 17 times a day. Every day or even every other day is plenty.
  2. Most of It Doesn’t Matter – Most of the news out there is not meaningful. You are better collecting the topics that are important to you via a news reader (RSS).
  3. Much of it is Wrong – As the cliché goes, “If it was written on the Internet, it must be true.” Anyone can type on the Internet, and you shouldn’t read anything without questioning its truth. News curation in the future won’t just be about content… but accuracy.
  4. Even More is Sensationalized – Many news sites have blurred the line between news and rumors. This is almost as dangerous as #3, in that made-up stories are portrayed as news.
  5. Most of it is Trivia – Does what the The Kardashians are doing help your day? Does what car Justin Bieber is driving today matter to your work? Most of the news we read is the equivalent of junk food for our brains.
  6. Much of the News Isn’t News at All – I just reviewed the front page of one of the top news websites and found 14 front-page headlines that end with a “?” This basically means that these news stories aren’t stories. Rather, they are questions, made up topics, and fluff material. Not worth your time.
  7. Facebook Isn’t News Either – I see individuals that spend their entire work day with their Facebook stream open. Again, do you really need to know what your friends are doing minute-by-minute of the day?
  8. Many News “Experts” Aren’t Experts – Don’t let the pundits and so-called experts convince you that they know any more than you do.
  9. Watching/Surfing the News is Inefficient – Watching the news is not a great use of your time. Sitting through endless segments, commercials and more, when you could be doing more productive activities. Surfing the news is just as wasteful. Many news sites are covered in more ads than actual news. Again, you could get the same information in a fraction of the time via a new reader. (RSS)
  10. Too Much of the News is Negative – The news loves a bad news story. Reading the front page is bound to bring your attitude down. Don’t let the news impact your attitude and thus your productivity.

All the News That Is Fit To Read

If you want to get more done in your day, stop reading the news.

Or at least cut back on your daily excess.

The news will be there when you are ready for it.

And don’t worry, if it is that important… the news will come find you.

Reclaim some of your news time each day and you will be able to get to the things that matter.

So, stop reading the news… and instead go do something newsworthy.

Question: How many times a day do you read the news?

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

  • MB

    Hi Ninja! For those of us not that well versed with the net … how do you set up and manage a RSS? Seems like that could be covered as a productivity blog entry on your website. Enjoy your postings! xxx

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      MB,

      Great point… I will see if I can do an RSS setup post!

      I did review my favorite iPad RSS reader a while back. It is called Reeder and is highly recommended.

  • sonia

    I generally agree with the gist of your article, however I find that I’m more concentrated and focused when I know what’s going on in the world. Being an avid dreamer, the news is like an anchor that keeps me tied to this world instead of the one in my head.

  • http://twitter.com/BrandonWx Brandon

    I am a fan of radio, partly because I can do other things while listening. Popping onto a news radio station is a good way to keep up on things without devoting much concentrated time. Another tact that I have used (and still do at times) is to get the hourly news updates from CBS Radio which you can get here: http://cbsradionewscast.com/

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Sounds like a good strategy… I am not as much a radio fan… as I am a podcast listener.

  • http://twitter.com/HomemakersDaily HomemakersDaily

    I do read a little bit of news in the morning. My morning routine is to get up, shower, dress, get breakfast and sit at my computer and skim the home page news, the local news and Fox and ABC. Then I’m done. I don’t spend much time – just kind of hit the highlights. I never watch the news except maybe a little Bill O’Reilly in the evening. I do want to know what’s going on – just not every detail.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Sounds like a balanced news diet. :)

  • http://www.mondayisgood.com/ Tom Dixon

    I am not so sure I could give up the news…once a day?? I think you are right – but a quick check of the news in between tasks is something I’ve made a habit.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      It can be a good break, as long as it doesn’t become a time sink.

      However, I would challenge that most of that news you are seeing throughout the day is the same… all day long. :)

  • http://twitter.com/justinmsnyder Justin Snyder

    Great post Craig! Information dieting sets you free. I check the news when I feel like it, which isn’t often. Usually I have friends and colleagues keep me up to date on newsworthy events.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Yes, agreed.

      I tend to read my news on my terms which usually means via a news reader. (RSS App)
      Keeps me from endlessly surfing the news sites. :)

  • Heath Capps

    No TV = freedom from Kardashian updates and more quality time with my wife. Highly recommended.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Absolutely! Much better places to spend time. :)

  • Greg Gamble

    I was raised without TV or news radio, and my wife and I have done same with out 4 children for 25 yrs. Result: fearless attitude toward relationships, business ventures, travel and most challenges life offers. We were criticized for contributing to naivete in them, but the opposite is true. They choose their companions and activities based on their dominant cultural worldview, which they developed in our family/home/community. We’re surrounded by many children who are either timid or aggressive, unimaginative or unrealistic and easily led to trust or believe untested ideas and people. Our children are skeptical of grandiose claims and personality worship, and from early ages, are able to have sentient conversations with adults and children alike, using vocabulary that engages questions. News is info overload, especially for children who intuitively know they cant control it, and objectively witness an adult generation who cant either. But we bombard them with it anyway and eventually they forget to question their own assumptions and instincts, and trust experts instead.
    News is propaganda for profit by intellectual privateers, and it allows ideas, stories and culture into our families lives that we would never allow thru our front door if they came personified.
    And yes, I listen to and read the news once in a while.
    Same drivel I was fed in grade school, just as depressing but now the loudest voice in the room.
    Greg

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  • http://www.reintegrate.net/ Fredrik H @ Reintegrate

    I probably read the news 4 times a day and I fully agree that most of it isn’t news. In fact most of I just browse but that probably makes it even more silly. I gues I have to admit that it is mostly for entertsainment purposes and I can probably find better sources for that.

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  • http://www.lifewhack.com/ Peter Ewin Hall

    One big bad thing about the news is you’re letting someone else tell you what is important. The editor of the newspaper, website of broadcast has decided what is important and who says they’re right? And then there’s all the bias in it. News does need to be rationed and approached with a questioning mind. Perhaps just making time to read up once a week from only the best sources is enough.

  • http://twitter.com/moneyqanda Money Q&A

    I completely agree! #10 is the primary reason that I do not watch the news. Bad news puts me in a bad mood or gets me depressed. I’d rather be a little less informed and in good spirits than watch the news.

  • PJ

    I stopped reading and watching the “news” after the last presidential election. I feel so much better having turned it off!

    I haven’t completely played like an ostrich though. I rely on my husband and a few reliable fb and twitter feeds to keep abreast. I then can make the necessary phone calls and/or write letters to elected officials to let my voice be heard. I will never be silenced, no matter how useless my efforts feel to me.

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