Control your input

I would need to hire a full-time employee if I watched every movie or series on Netflix someone recommends to me with the words "You have to watch that".

With these distractions, it seems obvious you shouldn't spend all of your time with. What's not so obvious are the news.

When I have grown up, the first thing my parents did in the morning was reading the newspaper. A local one that someone stuffed into our mailbox. It's responsible to do that, I thought. You have to know what's going on in the world.

The problem with today's news is that they are making money the same way Netflix does: when you watch them. Every second that you spend on a news page is valuable for the publisher, not for you.

So, the news aren't really news anymore. Articles are tailored in a way to trigger you, provoking certain feelings, triggering you to read more. Skim through the headlines of a news portal, what headlines do you read? Are this really news? Or is just something new that you should either be scared of, or be shocked by?

I don't read the news

Especially since the pandemic started, I reduced my news consumption radically.

Even that the rules here in Germany change like I do with my socks, they don't change so much that I would have to read them every day. It's enough once a week. Don't worry, I change my socks more often than that.

What if I miss something? Don't worry, I won't miss anything important. If there is something that I should take note of, someone will tell me. And if a meteor will hit the earth in six hours either someone will tell me or I will be surprised by it. Does it make any difference?

Everything else I will get to know in time.

The same goes for social media. I don't need to stay on top of that. Nothing on Instagram or LinkedIn is so important that it justifies me interrupting my writing session for a quick check. Interrupted work is shallow work and that's not what either of us should aim for.

Shit In — Shit Out

My work is inspired and influenced by the stuff I consume. If I consume bullshit, I write bullshit. If I read news that should drive anxiety in people, that will be reflected in my writing.

If I read well-written, mindful books, I am able to see that in my work. By the language I use as well as the attention I give to detail.

It's the same as with your eating habits. Only eating fast-food won't make you any healthier. Only consuming fast-news, won't make your brain perform any better.

Look for depth

In conversations, in the stuff that you are consuming, look for depth. Immerse yourself in talking to someone or reading a book or a blog. Lose yourself in it, so that you don't want to check your phone anymore or that you don't want to 'quickly' check social media.

That's a life of depth and meaning.

Daniel Hauck

Daniel Hauck