Circle of Competence – stick within it

“Stop reading the news” is a book by Rolf Dobrelli. His premise is simple. Stop reading or listening or watching the news and you will save about 90 minutes per day. That equates to a lot of time. He reckons it is about a month per year.

So what do you do instead of gorging on news content? Read really good books and great quality reporting.

And as a result do you miss the key news items. His argument is that you cannot miss the really big news. It’s everywhere. So don’t worry, turn off the news fire hydrant and relax.

One chapter in the book did however really catch my attention. It’s chapter 9 and titled – News is outside your circle of confidence.

He is arguing that relevance is key to stopping the news tsunami as most of it is irrelevant to any one individual. In essence it is only relevant if it helps you to understand your world better.

Warren Buffet used the term “Circle of Competence” to describe our area of expertise or competence. Anything within the circle we should know and know really well, outside of it we don’t really need to know. The key is to know your boundaries.

If you want to build a reputation, stick to those spots that make you the expert, the master of your trade rather than a generalist. As Dobrelli writes “Your brain is already full. The more you cram it with junk, the less room there is for the information you genuinely need to know”.

Have a look at your circle of competence. Where would you find the specialised information that would build your expertise.  “Don’t get sucked in to stuff that’s entertaining but irrelevant”.

What do you think? Could you stem the torrent of news and if yes, what do you see as the benefits?

You can buy the book here