In Before Happiness (2013), Shawn Achor lists four criteria for determining whether something is ‘noise’ that is obscuring the signal in your life. The four criteria are (p.156)
1. Unusable. Your behaviour will not be [significantly] altered by the information.
2. Untimely. You are not going to use that information imminently, and it could change by the time you do use it.
3. Hypothetical. It is based on what someone believes “could be” instead of “what is.”
4. Distracting. It distracts you from your goals.
These four points alone are worth the time it takes to read the book.