Headlines making you anxious? Delay reading them – Oliver Burkeman

There?s a trick to staying calm but well-informed: take your time catching up with the news

In the Guardian, Oliver Burkeman discusses how he digests the news and the similarities with the way he manages his personal worries.

[O]ne excellent way to stay calm but well-informed, I’ve found, is to consume the news a day or three later than everyone else…

After I’d done this for a while, it struck me that it’s essentially what I’d been doing for years with especially persistent personal worries: I’d make an entry in my calendar two or three weeks from today, and resolve not to fret about the matter till then. In almost every case, by the time the date rolled around, the issue seemed absurd.

Everyone tells you to live in the moment – but there’s much to be said for putting the moment off for a few days.

I’ve been doing something similar with the news for over a year now, mostly using friends and family as a filter for urgency. It’s an idea I first picked up from Tim Ferriss in 2009: he calls it the low information diet, a technique predicated on selective ignorance.

And Jason Kottke comments:

A new car loses about 10% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot; most news depreciates a lot faster than that. Humans are curious, hard-wired to seek out new information on a continuous basis. But not everything we haven’t seen before is worth our attention.

And what a great technique to manage worry as well!

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