Published on April 4th, 2021 | by Leif Kristjansen


Why Entrepreneurs Should Not Read the News

If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s probably a line item in your budget that you’re not accounting for because nobody ever talks about it. The bad news is that this line item is siphoning productivity and money away from you. The good news is that crossing it off is easy.

The thing that’s siphoning productivity and money from you is the time you’re spending consuming the news.

Far too many entrepreneurs are falling into the trap of believing that they need to stay current with every single thing that’s happening in the world. This creates a minute-to-minute cycle where you’re letting your mood, mindset and decisions be dictated by a series of rotating headlines. Here’s a look at why too much news is bad news for entrepreneurs and the simple technical solution to solving it.

It Wastes Your Time Without Any Return on Investment

When you pull up the news first thing in the morning, you’re already diverting your mindset from “creation” to “consumption.” Many entrepreneurs believe that part of their job description is to stay current on the pulse of the economy. However, it’s not necessary to stay glued to trends as they come in to do your work. In reality, many stories and opinion pieces are based on speculation instead of concrete facts so it is useless in its ability to help you make business decisions.

You’re consuming filler that just makes you more confused about your brand’s mission. The negative tone of most news sources also puts you in a defeated, defensive stance before you’ve even finished breakfast. Not exactly a good investment of your energy, and definitely not great for your income either!

As a result, your brain can’t distinguish between bad news in the world and information that impacts you. Do you really want to be making decisions for your business while you’re in a psychological state of being under duress?

Image source – FiveYearFIREescape

It Widens Your Time Deficit

Every entrepreneur operates under a time deficit. This is why having systems in place to maximize time is so important. Devoting time to consuming news can eat into your schedule by luring you in with the idea that your personal “time waster” of choice is noble or important. Yes, being informed is important. However, the availability of news today really causes us to blur the line between becoming informed at getting “sucked in.”

Time isn’t just a valuable asset for new entrepreneurs. One of the ways that even the most successful and established business owners can lose it all is through losing focus on daily management. Comfort is always an illusion for the one who takes the path of entrepreneurship.

Many times, reading one story leads to clicking on the next news story. There is then the need to head to Twitter to see what the crowd is saying about a breaking story that’s trending. Once we finally walk away, we are already thinking about the next time we’ll check back to see how the drama is progressing. This might work for a salaried employee who is being paid by someone else. However, it’s self-robbery for an entrepreneur!

Wasting time on news doesn’t just harm an entrepreneur’s “business” bottom line. While growing your business, you’re already being squeezed in a way that’s causing your relationships to suffer. News is just one more thing that steals time away from your family life, friendships and hobbies.

Ways to Decrease News Consumption

Doing a news detox is a great way for an entrepreneur to claim back lost time. The goal is not to cut yourself off from all news forever. It’s still important to stay informed. The goal is to sift out the unnecessary noise to be able to know what you need to know without wading through stories that aren’t relevant to your life.

Schedule News Time

One of the ways that news wastes time is by drawing us in when we’re actually in the mood to be distracted. When we want a break, we turn to news websites because we know we’ll be able to get drawn in. Giving yourself a set window for news consumption each day can help you to see what you need to know during a specific 15-minute window of time. Knowing that you only have 15 minutes to brush up on news will make you less likely to waste your time on filler stories with sensational headlines. You can also focus on just the news instead of toggling back and forth between news and work.

What may seem like a few seconds of browsing headlines can turn into hours of “split attention” if you’re not careful.

Focus on Specific Sources

If you tend to click on any news link that grabs you, make a plan to be conscious about your sources. Identify two news sources that generate content that’s relevant to you. Stick to these two sources to be able to cover more stories in less time because you’ve already done some vetting.

Kill App Alerts on Your Phone

If you’ve subscribed to news websites on your phone, disable the alerts they send out. These news sites carefully craft the headlines that pop up on your screen to get clicks. It’s best to not try to battle the temptation to stay informed.

Subscribe to a Newsletter

One hack that many productivity-minded people are using is to subscribe to a digest or newsletter that actually rounds up all the need-to-know stories for them. Ideally a short newsletter that is just sent once a day or even once a week. This can be helpful because someone else is mining all of the hundreds of news stories from the day to present you with a curated list of the key points from all the important things.

Reading the News Isn’t Making You Richer

The only people who make money from the news are the people in the news business. If you’re spending time checking in on the headlines during the day, you’re literally stealing from your own company in the form of lost productivity. This is keeping you poorer when you need to focus and get rich. Keep news consumption in check to avoid losing money and throwing your mindset off course with each shiny headline.

Image source: FiveYearFIREescape


About the Author

I’m Leif Kristjansen, founder of where my wife and I blog about how we felt busy as hell and took a hyper-time-efficient path to retirement in our early 30s. We have kids and a house in a high cost of living city but we succeeded via saving, life hacks, and lots of rental houses.

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