Days 365+99 TMI radioAs a result of my previous blog about TMI, a friend commented that he no longer “did news.” I said that I could understand not getting a daily newspaper and not watching TV, “But not even the radio! Do you catch up on news through the internet?” He explained that if it’s important he finds out about it from friends. Even radio takes time he said, and “I have so little free time that I would rather spend it some other way.” This got me to thinking how I spend TV and radio time.

TV: This one is pretty easy since I hardly ever watch TV. I have two shows that I like: Charlie Rose and Survivor. I often watch Charlie Rose at bedtime for in depth interviews. Survivor is my guilty pleasure since I like strategy but it only runs twice a year and I usually watch it online. (Now that The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are no longer on, I’m freed of those addictions. But I also watched them online and only when convenient.) I make exceptions for the Olympics and elections.

RADIO: Now this is the challenge. I am addicted to NPR for news. It’s good news. Well, maybe not good, in the sense of uplifting, but it is basically fair and unbiased. (I’ll cover “too much bad news” in a few weeks.) It covers important stuff. So, how do I deal with the time issue?

  • Multitask – As I reflected on when I listen to NPR I realized that it was usually while I was doing something else like dressing in the morning, exercising, eating breakfast, driving, doing dishes, and gardening. I know, I know, I’ve read the research about how multitasking doesn’t save that much time since each task may take a little longer. Most of the tasks I double up on though don’t take much brain power. When I have a lack of “free time” it usually has to do with having said “Yes” to too many commitments. That’s a different challenge.
  • Turn it off – Even though I tend to be a news junkie, I also want to interact mindfully with the people around me. People always trump news – well, almost always. I also realize that I need doses of quiet and solitude. NPR conveniently provides this through pledge drives and repeating the morning and evening news. I just turn off the repeats and read the paper. If my head is too full of news – good or bad – I just turn it off. I have plenty of compelling things I want to do each day, that limiting my radio time to multi-tasking is usually plenty.

Do you put limits on TV or radio time? How do you manage these media?