Just the Essentials
You probably wake up and check email, social media, or turn on the news, and keep them going right up until bed time. You’re keeping up with all the latest happenings in politics, business and sports because you’re an informed, responsible citizen. Good for you. The issue is, when you think about the return on investment, it makes no sense. The vast majority of the information we consume on a daily basis serves primarily to make us anxious, angry or an unfortunate cocktail of the two. All the while, it robs us of the peace of mind we so desperately crave. What do we get in return for it? A whole bunch of information that is mostly unnecessary and not applicable to our lives. Enter the low information diet.
The low information diet is an absolute Godsend. It costs $0.00 per month. It (probably) won’t shave inches off your waistline, but it will certainly shave stress off your life, and that’s a money back guarantee. Now, most of this is anecdotal, so take it as you will. That said, it has made a tremendous difference on my own life. I used to listen to news podcasts every day. I would watch all sorts of news and read about current events in my free time. This became my primary source of entertainment. I was spending my time listening to people I’ll never meet complain about other people I’ll never meet. If that doesn’t sound like absolute nirvana, I don’t know what does.
Yet I decided to take a break from this paradiso to try the low info diet. No news podcasts, tv news, articles. I turned nearly all notifications on my phone off. I unsubscribed from most email lists. It was fat trimming time and there was a lot of fat. What followed, you need to experience for yourself.
- Silence all notifications on your phone besides call and text.
- Check your email at designated times during the day. I do it roughly four times per day depending on circumstances.
- Tempting as it is, don’t turn on MSNBC, Fox, CNN, your favorite podcast, talk show, etc. Opt for non-news podcasts, music (I like something focus or relaxation inducing, via http://brain.fm) or just enjoy the sounds of the world around you.
- When you’re talking with friends, coworkers, baristas, that guy at the deli counter at the grocery store, and current events come up, ask thoughtful questions and actively listen to what they have to say. You’ll be able to get everything you need.
Now, you won’t suddenly find actual nirvana. You will likely find however, that all the information you need finds you. You’ll would get what you need through conversations. You’ll also learn that most of the information you have been getting was almost entirely worthless. Most of the information on the news is not going to dramatically alter the way you live your life, and if it would, you’ll probably hear about it from someone. It’s a great way to filter down to the information that really matters. Instead of spending time worrying about a bunch of things you can’t control, you’ll have the chance to worry just about the things that you can influence, and suddenly, those problems seem a lot more manageable.
Like I said before, the low information diet isn’t a cure-all. This is what happened to me. That said, with others who I have spoken to who took up a similar goal, that got similar results. It helps to create a more focused, more positive outlook. The low information diet will lead to increased effectiveness and satisfaction at work and home. It helps to filter out most of the unnecessary negativity and toxicity, and as short as life is, that should be the first thing on the chopping block.