Time Hacks: Your Creation/Consumption Ratio

I had a conversation with someone last night that sparked this idea. We were talking about all the things the net gave us to consume, as far as content went. There were a million and one ways to find things to read, to muse over, and then find more things to read. His comment was something to the lines of, “But it’s so much easier to read than to create.”

That’s the point.

If you wish to be productive in whatever venue, you must realize this: the system, as it were, is set up such that the world needs more consumers than creators. Have you ever gone to an open mic night? They’re the only people needier than writer groups. It’s the same thing in the other media spaces (print, tv, movies, blogs).

However, if you are someone who wants to create, you must realize this about yourself. You must realize that the system is set up for you to consume. Thus, you must gear your own personal plans and models such that you forcefully allot time to create. Here are some tips:

  • Unplug the Internet- No, not forever. Just turn down your connection temporarily. Allow yourself to use your computer for pure input of words and music and ideas, and not as a different variation on the television. With my Mac, I can just click on the Airport button at the top of the screen, and I’m offline. It’s a great way to force my hand.
  • Allot 1 hour total for consumption after work- This includes ANY format. Make yourself the promise that if you watch a tv show with the family, you don’t follow up by 2 hours of RSS surfing and a quick browse of the daily newspaper while having your evening snack. With the time you free up, you can create.
  • Switch to DVR and Podcast technology- Don’t let the time of day dictate your activity. DVR technology like Tivo and ReplayTV and Matrixstream (actually an IPTV product) help you stay in control of your consumption. You choose when to watch or listen to something, instead of being guided by the time of day. Thus, you can choose your time to be creative, too.
  • Try Media Fasting- Pick one of your sources for consumption and try “fasting,” not using that source, for a week. My recommendation? Your local newspaper and/or your local news channel. See if your life changes much without that source in your life for a week. It might help you recover more time to produce.
  • Answering emails is still consumption- There are still ways we can SEEM to be creating that are still on the consumption side of the equation. Emails CAN be in that vein. Keep this in mind when considering your mapping of time.

    I’d love to know how you do with this, and what it nets.

    [email]

    Subscribe to [chrisbrogan.com]

  • Print Friendly