How to stay informed without being paralyzed by bad news

one day recently, I arrived at the Manhattan office where I work as a teacher. I was hoping to tame my inbox before my first session. Instead, I clicked a news alert and succumbed to a media storm of Ukrainian refugees fleeing bombed homes and President Biden’s ominous warnings about Russian chemical warfare. This news cycle — hurricane-like — then engulfed me in TikToks of teens crying for their country, families sheltering in the subway, and snapshots of Ukrainians’ safe lives just weeks ago. Soon my chest was contracting uncomfortably. donate to International Rescue Committee I couldn’t completely calm myself down before my client arrived.

I describe my mornings, but I’m not the only one who has had this experience. Oddly enough, when updates about Ukraine make me feel helpless, I feel extra anxious because I can’t sit back and scroll forever. Despite life-changing events, I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world: I must meet the requirements of my job.

On the other hand, the importance of everyday engagements diminishes while many struggle. However, neglecting everything but the latest global shock will lead to unemployment and instability. That line between calculating terrible facts and wanting to be productive to support yourself is thin. “The media is telling us, but there is a lot of bleak news out there. Our brains have a negative slant,” says psychiatrist Jess B. Shatkin. “We have an innate mechanism in the amygdala and the limbic system to pay attention to what could be harming us. But engaging in this way affects our mood, sleep, and anxiety,” he says.

Shatkin, director of the Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies at New York University, emphasized that paying attention to occupational and family matters can prevent feelings of powerlessness due to current events. “I can’t directly influence what happens in Ukraine, but I can try to be good to my students, my patients and my family,” he says. Invest in your commitments and relationships builds resilience.

Although technology can produce paralysis of bad news, online tools can also help you make productive contributions in your various roles. As an organization junkie dealing with four part-time jobs with college classes and a private life, here’s how to balance the responsibilities.

Schedule and time recognition

To-do lists can feel like a history of failures when you can’t select things from your list. Google Calendar works best for me, as it enhances (a) allocating time for each task so I can see what I can realistically complete each day and (b) documenting changes easily so that I know my efforts When a last minute meeting pops up my private Wi-Fi is terminated Me, or if there is a friend in need.

me Create events For most daily activities: handling emails, running errands, giving presentations, even eating lunch. This way, I set a start and end for each project instead of staring at a list with no direction. The best part of GCal is its flexibility. When my time estimates are off, I adjust the event to record how long I’ve been committed and shift subsequent tasks to the next day, if necessary. This week, for example, it took an extra 30 minutes to email my co-workers because I was scouring my shared Google Drive for a spreadsheet. (This is polite – I was ready to throw my laptop against the wall.) To compensate, I modified my next task to start later and modified the “send a debriefing email” event to reflect its true duration. When I opened GCal the next day, I understood why I had changed my plans rather than thinking I wasn’t productive enough, and knew to devote more time to crafting emails in the future.

Try too Create calendars for different aspects of your life and Attach documents In the event descriptions so it’s not me on Monday night, she’s desperately searching for missing items. If scheduling daily work becomes compulsive or tiring, you can use GCal remind or Tasks It works instead, and it’s always there Reminders app For Apple or . users Todoist For Android lovers. I find making time more motivating, but do what you like best.

embracing accountability

Focusing on deadlines is tough when you feel like World War Three is raging. Sometimes you just need to congratulate yourself on small wins, like attending all your meetings (or even small successes – I’m not above showering celebration). Do not pressure yourself, but hold yourself accountable with mercy.

If quantitative data drives you, consider an app like yulbumtaAvailable in English and Korean for Apple or Android devices. App charts that track time spent on different projects help me visualize daily, weekly, or monthly progress. Additionally, starting the in-app stopwatch locks unapproved apps from opening, encouraging focus when willpower wanes.

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