What do you read every day?
Most probably get some information from the internet. I do as well, but I always read one daily newspaper (usually USA Today for a quick overview of what’s happening in the world).
Since I enjoy reading, it is easy to spend too much time on the paper. To avoid wasting time, I think about articles falling into one of three basic categories: interesting, informative and important.
Interesting articles are fun but have no relevance beyond enjoyment. Quirky articles and some human-interest pieces are filler in the news world. They provide entertainment value and, if you have time, they are small reading pleasures.
Informative articles give you information you can use, either in how you think or what you do. An article today said that motivational texts helped double the success rate of people who quit smoking (but that rate was still only 10% of those who tried to quit). This provides me some good food for thought about the potential role of technology and behavioral change, something that is important in my work.
Important articles usually require immediate action. Another article on internet security today provided some shocking statistics about how many small businesses are at risk. If you met the criteria for these at rick businesses, this is an important article.
To make the most of your reading time, focus first on the important, second on the informative and to the degree you have extra time, finally the interesting. The interesting things have great allure but can displace time needed to enrich your thinking and guide you in taking constructive action.