I’m a journalist, so I’m addicted to News. That’s the assumption most of my friends and family make about me, just as they might assume that my partner, who’s a gardener, can’t get enough of gardens.
And goodness me, in the past few months there’s been no shortage of news to feed that addiction — some of it landmark, some of it bizarre, some of it heartbreaking (and I’ll leave you to decide which recent news stories fit which of those gaping categories.)
But when I set up my business four years ago, bringing the cauldron of newsroom life into offices to develop workplace skills, I decided to do something rather counter-intuitive. I cut down on news. Out went the familiar terrain of debate and discussion on BBC Radio’s 4 Today programme between 6.30 and 7.30 each morning. And in came the unchartered high tundra of BBC Radio 3, even though I’ve never really been terribly interested in classical music and couldn’t get away from Glyndebourne quickly enough when my father invited me to join him.
The result of cutting down on news: I’m fresher when I work on a news shift, and more relaxed when I work on my business. It’s opening my ears to Bach before Seven, and Chopin in the shower. I’m ever so gently learning something new, and I think that’s opening my mind to new ways of approaching my news reporting.
It may not be right for everyone. Other radio stations are available. But by giving work a miss before I get there, it’s certainly working for me.