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We have friends who are so addicted to the news that they receive real-time updates on their phones as events unfold. The more something scares them, the more they seem to want a constant feed. The news companies know this and deliberately try to scare folks so they will get “hooked.”
We have another friend who likes to say he’s 2 days ahead of the news. Presumably, this is some kind of elite access to be envied, as he apparently is the very first to know.
How healthy is it psychologically to focus on events and probabilities that are disconcerting at the start of each day? Is this the right thing to do to your brain? You can’t do much about the news anyway, and the resulting frustration and anxiety is downright distracting.
“Distracting from what?” you may ask. Distracting from what you want to accomplish that day. Distracting from the achievement of your own plans and goals. Not to mention that your anxiety and frustration can make you feel disempowered like your efforts are futile anyway. So why bother? This is certainly not a good way to start your day!
New Year’s Resolution for More Focus
So, for New Year’s, here’s a resolution that’s bound to help you be more effective, more focused, and more in control: No news ‘til noon!
Don’t worry, if something happens that will affect you directly, you will no doubt hear about it from friends and colleagues. Plus, you can read all about it after noon. But by that time, you will have such a positive head start on your day, you’ll be less affected emotionally by the news of others. You’ll be more excited about the progress you’ve made so far on your own plans. And you’ll be looking forward to getting back to work to finish what you’ve started for the day.
Alternatives to Reading the News
“But if I can’t read the news, what can I read first thing in the morning?” you may ask. Here’s our short list:
- Your Goals. Note any progress you have made toward any of them. Write down any ideas or people who can help move you in the right direction.
- Something Inspirational. Set the tone for the day with a few chapters from inspirational or enlightening books, magazines, or podcasts first thing in the morning.
- Positive Blog Posts. This is a great way to finally read those articles that have been filling up your inbox. You know – the ones you’ve been meaning to read about problem-solving, leadership, and opportunities, but haven’t had the time.
In today’s world of news overload and competing news feeds vying for your attention, you can take back the best part of the day, the most influential part of the day, the attitude shaping part of the day – your mornings! Do it for the benefit of your education, your goals, and your well-being. Try “no news ‘til noon” for one week and see if you don’t want to make it your own New Year’s resolution. We did! And we love it!
Have a nice day!