In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, I became a news junkie, compulsively devouring two or even three news websites on a daily basis. It was an itch I could scratch, and for almost a decade was part of my online routine.
A daily side of news isn't going to kill you, but it's part of a larger problem, accurately described as The 'Busy' Trap by author Tim Kreider — the cacophony of emails, messages, obligations, lists and scheduling which threaten to overwhelm us:
"It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we collectively force one another to do."
With these seemingly unavoidable mantras woven into the fabric of modern day life, it's no wonder that people talk of "not having time" to do the things that they want to.
But that statement is a misdemeanour in itself. You don't just "have" time — you make time.
Stop doing crap that doesn't matter, and do stuff that does.
- Don't read or watch the news (Tim Ferriss calls this a "news fast" and recommends an initial diet of 10 days)
- Don't read your email willy-nilly (I still struggle to avoid this. Blocking apps like Self Control can help)
- Don't make excuses. (No-one gives you permission in life)
- Don't do time management (Instead, identify the most 1-3 tasks each day and do them first)
- Don't do meetings (This of course, is easier if you don't have a boss, and is something on my growing list of reasons to be your own)
- Don't make goals (Focus on the present, not the future, and do something which excites you now)
What things can you stop doing, and what will you do instead?
- Leo Babauta on Achieving Without Goals
- The 4-Hour Work Week: Tim Ferriss (and his Not-To-Do list)
- Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity, David Allen
- The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz
- The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less, Richard Koch
Posted to life in 2012.