What to do when you get over-excited about current events?

What to do when you get over-excited about current events?

It happens to all of us. Whether it’s the riot in Capitol, or a breaking news about prime minister of your country stepping down, all of them could leave you over-excited and focus-less.

Knowing what’s happening to our surrounding community has serious impact to our wellbeing (or survival, if it were the case in the past). No wonder we got so hooked into news, it’s in our instinct to know what’s happening around us. But to be honest, most of the news we consume don’t really have much impact on our daily life. They just become distractions.

For example, news about the US presidential election result really kept me busy/focus-less for a day or so even though it didn’t have much direct impact on me. I could’ve just seen some quick notes about it after the work hours. Instead, I googled everything about the US election system, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, etc. Every new search result was providing a small doses of dopamine rush, fueling the next searches. Then I find myself looking at those things for hours.

So, the question is how can we work effectively if any breaking news could jeopardize our attention and focus?

Here are the 2 tactics that proved useful for me:

1. Allocate a time of day for news consumption

I allocated the post 6PM hours for this and it tremendously helped me to strengthen my focus. On the other hand, it backfired when I tried to outright block all the news throughout the day. I managed to keep up with that only a few days and lost control. Binge-reading news became one of my daily funs and I dragged my feet at work because of that. What I needed was an exit strategy: “I’m not going to read news till I’m done with all my work today”.

2. Don’t read any news before your workday is over

Don’t freak out that you might miss something important. If the news is “newsworthy”, you’re certainly going to hear about it eventually. Either from you family members or from your co-workers. So, don’t think you’re missing out much. You can catch up with them afterwards.