Why you should ignore most things in the news
You too may find it easier to focus on what matters if your attention span wasn’t divided amongst so many things that don’t — such as sensational newsreels.
Who is more attractive: Justin Trudeau, Enrique Peña Nieto, or Emmanuel Macron?
Is the iPhone X worth buying?
Is Kevin Spacey’s career over given recent accusations?
Does activated charcoal really work?
What do you think of Beyonce naming one of her kid’s Rumi?
I can tell you my answer to all of the above: don’t know, don’t care.
I read a lot each day but spend the least amount of time following popular news especially clickbait headlines, entertainment and celebrity drama, and current events being radicalized in the media.
Sometimes I go months without reading the news and only learn about major developments at social gatherings.
In fact, I’m perpetually out-of-the-know and refrain from forming an opinion on most stories that play out in mainstream media.
Think I’m an irresponsible citizen as a result? I beg to differ.
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I don’t have the mental capacity to truly care about even a fraction of the daily headlines. So I’m selective about the information I consume and mull over.
I also prefer to allocate energy to things I feel empowered to influence (like my purpose, values, and other personal commitments).
If I read something that’s within the scope of what I’m devoted to, then I spend time studying and forming my viewpoint on it.
But if it’s not relevant to me, or there’s no meaningful or feasible call to action, then I waste no time disregarding it.
I’m not belittling the oh-so-talented Beyonce and her offspring. Her music is fun but she adds zero value to my day-to-day, so I don’t have time to think about or talk about her.
I’m also not saying that the relative attractiveness of our new generation of global leaders isn’t interesting. I just don’t have it in me to passionately debate every nuanced newsreel.
And you don’t either.
You too may find it easier to focus on what matters if your attention span wasn’t divided amongst so many things that don’t.
As much as you may like to, you can’t craft a thorough perspective nor take action on global warming, women’s rights, Trump’s Russia ties — or hundreds of other sensational topics — all at one time.
So don’t stretch yourself thin.
Putting your priorities into perspective helps you efficiently expend your brain power, increasing your effectiveness on the things that should take precedence.
If you need help setting your priorities and focusing your attention, get start with the Minimalism Challenge.