This past week I decided to ignore my Google Reader RSS feed. That’s right. No news. For an entire week. Mostly this was an experiment in productivity and time management. Though I don’t spend tons of time reading the news, I find it to be distracting. Especially since I use an RSS feed, reading the news becomes a game in a sense. Whenever I see a new article I must clear it out.
I have set up my RSS feed so to make it quicker to skim through headlines and then just self select articles I’d like to dig into deeper.
This week was different though. I didn’t visit my Google Reader. I didn’t read the WSJ. Guess what?! The world didn’t end. I may not know every company that received funding this week and what their valuation was via TechCrunch or Mashable. Or news about acquisition announcements. I survived. The only news I consumed was that which was shared by others. I got the idea to go on a “news diet” from Tim Ferris’ book The 4 Hour Work Week. My life is just fine without reading the news every day.
Now, the stack of WSJ are still in my office. And the unread articles in my Google Reader did not just magically disappear. Will I press the “Mark all as Read?” and start back at the present with my news reader? Or will I play catch up with all I missed out on last week? I’ll probably catch up on a few things, but mostly I will just forgo that week of news.
This is a great example of an experiment with habit changes. It can be daunting and difficult to imagine a new routine or go cold turkey with something you do everyday. I enjoy reading the news, and don’t think I need to go cold turkey all the time. But I can cut out the RSS game and read through to stay in the loop…making sure I know when some folks with an idea on a napkin raise $30 million with an absurdly high valuation.
Venture on. Venture on,