Ever since reading The 4-Hour Workweek a decade ago I started applying the Low-Information Diet and stopped following the news: no newspapers, no news websites, no news on TV.
The principle is simple:
Quit the news. If it’s important enough you will hear about it from the people around you. In most cases, you won’t hear and miss anything.
This sometimes leads to awkward social situations: Have you heard of the recent oil spill? Nope. The recent terrorist attack? Nope. Did you see what Trump did yesterday? Nope. Did you know that there is a new hot-dog eating champion? Nope.
My attention is the most important resource I have. I’m not going to waste it. For many years, I have done just that. I have read the local newspaper – of the free and low-quality kind – every day. I was a subscriber of periodicals and had stacks of them. I couldn’t keep up. It was a total waste.
Then one day, I quit. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
Today, I’m still far away from a true low-information diet. I’m consuming huge amounts of information. The challenge is to invest my attention as well as possible. I’m approaching it as an investor and capital allocator. Where are great investment opportunities? What is the return on investment?
That’s why I love books and podcast. They offer a great return for me. I also love writing. It improves my thinking.
Occasionally, I have a weak moment and click on a link that leads to a news site. These days, most of them have paywalls, which makes my life easier. Whenever I hit the wall, I close the tab. Done. Thank you dear news site, you have just saved me from another temptation.
Your attention is the most important resource you have. It’s more important than wealth and fame. It’s even more important than time, because it’s depleted faster than the number of hours in a day. You may only have 3 or 4 hours of high-quality attention per day. Invest it wisely!