No news challenge: day 1

A few days ago, Mrs. Precise brought this manifesto under my attention. The author, Rolf Dobelli, is explaining how bad news consumption is for the mind. Further in the text he also makes a case why the first sentence of this article is very bad for your attention, since it has 2 links in it. Sorry, I’ll try not to do that again.

You know I recently did a no sugar challenge, so his first sentence immediately caught my attention, which is good news. I still seem to have some sort of attention span!

News is to the mind what sugar is to the body.

It also made me worried and already think a few steps ahead. I do have a much worse mental focus than in the past. I do read more news than in the past. He might be on to something…

The whole manifesto contains 15 points about why news is bad for you. I’ll give them here so you have a nice little recap of the text, but please go and read it in full. It’s an easy read and I think it contains many valid points.

  1. News misleads us systematically
  2. News is irrelevant
  3. News limits understanding
  4. News is toxic to your body
  5. News massively increases cognitive errors
  6. News inhibits thinking
  7. News changes the structure of your brain
  8. News is costly
  9. News sunders the relationship between reputation and achievement
  10. News is produced by journalists
  11. Reported facts are sometimes wrong, forecasts always
  12. News is manipulative
  13. News makes us passive
  14. News gives us the illusion of caring
  15. News kills creativity

Then somewhere on page 10 I read this:

The first week will be the hardest. Deciding not to check the news while you are thinking, writing or reading takes discipline. You are fighting your brain’s built-in tendency. Initially, you will feel out of touch or even socially isolated. Every day you will be tempted to check your favorite news Web site. Don’t do it. Stick to the cold-turkey plan. Go 30 days without news. After 30 days, you will have a more relaxed attitude toward the news. You will find that you have more time, more concentration and a better understanding of the world.

No more this. (Photo by Pixabay from Pexels)

Was there ever a more clear sign? I found my next challenge! I have the feeling that this could be a quite difficult one, I’m really pretty addicted to news. I have this one local news site of which I just refresh the timeline with articles and read every single one that interests me. It has me refreshing the timeline about 5 times a day and then I’m continuously reading the articles as small attention breakers in between work. It really dawned upon me: this is bad, I have to change something.

So there you have it. Starting today, there’s no more news for me.

One meal a day challenge: day 11-29

As I was expecting, you really do get used to not eating all day. Of course you also definitely have less energy to spend as the day progresses, but it’s not that I ever felt dizzy or something like that. It’s when running or lifting things (or drilling in the ceiling to hang lamps…) that I noticed a lower energy level.

High and dry.

Last Sunday I had a nice challenge coming up. We recently moved to the 11th floor of a brand new apartment building. Because so many people are moving, the building manager decided to disable one of the two elevators, so it doesn’t get damaged. You can’t believe how inconsiderate people are… Anyway. I get home from the Zoo with the children and the other, enabled, elevator is not functioning anymore! This was definitely a challenge. Our youngest child is 3 years old, so I also had to carry him up for 8 of the 10 stairs. I can tell you this, my heart was racing and didn’t stop for quite a while and I most surely felt that I had muscles in my legs! Later that evening I suddenly remembered that I had to put the garbage out. Elevator still broken. Damn it! Being the genius that I am, I decided to run back up. I lasted for 6 floors and then I could just barely manage to walk further up. Still no dizziness, only a pure lack of force in my legs. A big thank you to Mrs. Precise for taking the cartoons out after I came back up!

By the way, did I mention that I lost weight? A month ago I was weighing 81 kg, after the 29 day fast I was down to 73 kg. A few days later, now I’m back up to 76 without eating big amounts, maybe because my intestines are more filled with food now? I didn’t have much weight to spare in the beginning, but still I managed to shave off some of my “extra’s”.

One more challenge down, neext!