I don’t know about you, but since the COVID-19 crisis has hit, I’ve become a news addict. I find myself checking CNN multiple times each day on my phone. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good to stay informed about what is going on, especially in a crisis. But I think I’ve gone a bit overboard. All my checking (1) distracts me from being productive and making progress on my most important tasks and (2) ramps up my anxiety.
Schedule in News Time
If my experience rings true for you, I would encourage you to try the following course correction: Decide ahead of time how much you would like to check the news each day and schedule that time into your day. Then (and this is key), only check the news during your scheduled time.
For example, maybe you decide you want to check the news once each day in the morning. Schedule that time in, and spend 15-30 minutes getting up to speed for the day. But after that, shut down CNN and get going on the things that matter most to you. Or, maybe you’d like to check the news once in the morning and once at night. Schedule those times in, but apart from that, shut down the news.
Put Parameters Around News Time
It’s good to be informed. But checking the news non-stop isn’t in your best interests. Put parameters around your news time, and spend most of your time actually living your life, getting things done, and connecting with your loved ones.