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How to Keep Up with the Latest News without Falling Victim to Negativity

| Super User | Balance

Not being able to just keep scrolling past horrible news stories can make you feel helpless and increase your anxiety.

Despite life-changing circumstances, though, some of us have occupations that require staying abreast of what’s happening in the world to meet employment obligations and thus, cover our expenses.

With so many people in need, our regular routines can lose relevance in our eyes. But ignoring everything but the next global disaster would cause instability -- and unemployment. There's a narrow line between being productive and facing horrible truths.

The media informs us, but it's mostly depressing. Our brains are negative, according to psychiatrist Jess P. Shatkin. Our amygdala and limbic system can detect hazards, which he says affects our anxiety levels, sleep habits, and mood.

Shatkin stressed the need of balancing work and family. "I can't alter what's happening in Ukraine, but I can be good to my pupils, patients, and family," he says. Personal commitments and relationships increase resilience.

Despite "bad news paralysis," online tools can help you contribute successfully to your numerous professions. Here are some tips from someone who manages four part-time jobs, college, and -- somehow -- a personal life.

Time Management

Unchecked to-dos can feel like a chronicle of failures. Google Calendar works well since it encourages (A) setting out time for each task so you can see how much you can do each day and (B) quickly documenting changes so you can recall your efforts when a last-minute meeting pops up, friend's emergency cuts in, or Wi-Fi goes out.

You can schedule lunches, emails, and errands, among other everyday tasks. In this manner, you can give each venture a definite start and end time. Google Calendar is adaptable -- When time estimates are inaccurate, you can update the event to reflect how long you actually worked on a task and, if required, relocate other tasks to the next day.

For example, say it takes 30 minutes longer to send a post-meeting email than you expected. To make up for it, you can just modify the start time of your next job and the duration of your “post meeting email” calendar item. Then, when you open your calendar the next day, you’ll immediately see why things changed. That will allow you to build more time into your future schedules for writing emails.

Another great tip is to make calendars and add documents to event descriptions. If arranging daily tasks becomes onerous, use Google Calendars reminders or tasks feature. You can also use Apple's Reminders or Android's Todoist. In my opinion, allocating time is more motivating.

Accept Responsibility

It can be hard to meet deadlines when your world feels chaotic. Sometimes you need to clap yourself on the back for tiny accomplishments, like attending all your meetings (or even showering). Instead of punishing yourself, be accountable.

If you're driven by data, try the Yeolpumta app for Apple and Android. The app's charts show daily, weekly, and monthly progress on specific tasks. The in-app stopwatch helps you focus when your willpower wanes by preventing unauthorized apps from opening.

You can also Identify an accountability partner and be answerable without counting hours. For example, try calling a friend and minimizing FaceTime on your laptop. This will let you observe her working while simultaneously concentrating on completing your own. Shatkin calls this a "wonderful way to use media, since you know your friend has your back." Also, placing that call makes your phone less available to become a distraction.

Establish and Maintain Boundaries

Keeping limits is hard, like sleeping eight hours a night. One effective strategy to limit news consumption, though, is to read breaking news only during specific times that you set aside. Selecting emotional occasions offers you power over your day. Using your personal email for news updates helps separate work and life.

Shatkin proposes adjusting your phone's display mode to the one you like least to stick to those constraints. Turn off push alerts or establish daily restrictions on news-heavy applications like Twitter. When you need to be productive, save a headline or video link in iPhone's Notes app or Android's OneNote. That way, you can read it later during your pre-scheduled article time. You can also upgrade Notes to pin your links page for easy access and arrange multiple links in custom folder.

Bond with Your “People”

The time you save by relying on others could be used to follow big news stories that deeply concern you. That way, you can be freed up tol what you need to feel without being pulled in so many directions at once.