Staying focused while staying connected

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The world is always a crazy place, but things appear to be a bit crazier as of late. Forget your political stance for a moment and think of everything that has happened since the start of 2017, both good and bad, and how it will impact the future of existence. Pretty wild, right?

Whether you see the world as falling apart or finally starting to turn a corner, there is no denying the nonstop onslaught of news and political discourse that is being fed to us through countless channels around the clock. Most find it impossible to stay on top of everything, especially while working full-time and trying to have some semblance of a personal life, but deep down they know they need to be informed.

So how do you do it? How do you stay informed about the world at large without losing focus about what matters in your day-to-day life?

If there were a simple answer to this question I believe that solution would be something taught to all high school seniors before they are let loose into the world of adulthood. The truth is that no one has a perfect solution because everyone’s ability to process information, not to mention the way they react to information, is different from everyone else.

The best advice anyone can offer is to listen to your body and adjust your behavior as necessary. If you find yourself waking with a sense of dread or depression resulting from nonstop news consumption it’s perfectly okay to unplug and unwind. There is no shame in choosing to not be connected around the clock to something that is causing you to feel physically or emotionally ill.

There may be a war you need to fight, but you will only be able to do that if you first take care of yourself. Rest. Unplug. Eat well. Exercise. Do the essential things each and every day before losing yourself in headlines.

As for the struggle to balance work, life, and maintaining a global awareness, the best way to start is a single, simple change. If you find yourself constantly out of the loop on important matters maybe you should try signing up for a morning briefing from one of the nation’s top news organizations. If you find yourself scrolling through updates when you should be focused on work or family, download one of the numerous apps that limits your access to social media and the internet during times you wish to dedicate to family/work/etc. Maybe you need to shut your phone off altogether. 

Find what works for you and take steps to it habitual.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.