In Tim Ferris’ book The 4-Hour Work Week, he talks about skipping the news circuit–that doing so will add more hours to your day and ultimately doesn’t matter. He isn’t advocating being uninformed. He’s advocating using time intentionally for things that pay off. Tim points out you’ll usually hear about the important news from other people. As Paul Frields points out,
In a number of cases I stay on a list so I know if there’s a flamefest going on. If that happens, though, invariably people let me know about it, so I doubt it’s useful for me to worry about it in advance. Certainly in some cases such a problem might require some action, but it’s exceedingly rare not to hear about them.
Stephen Smoogen had similar reflections in Lent Seasons: News Programs about disconnecting to reduce unnecessary levels of stress.
The thought I’m having here is that “Knowledge of current events is not an end in itself.” I can have full knowledge all of the horrible things going on in the world or be fully up to date on the latest 300 thread “discussion” on a Fedora devel list. However, if what I value more is making a difference and achieving success, “knowing the latest headlines,” is less important than trying to do something about the problem.
A balance between “knowing” and “doing” is good too. Maybe it is called discernment. I definitely see the room and importance for “being informed” so that actions toward improvement are relevant.
What do you think? Am I on to something here or am I breathing too much of my own “personal productivity” exhaust?