Consume or Create?

Are we just consuming or creating? Dive into how we spend our digital lives and discover ways to unleash your creativity over consumption. Transform your habits, find fulfillment, and make your mark. Click to explore the path from passive scrolling to active creating.

Consume or Create?

In an age where flickering screens fill every corner of our lives, we find ourselves at a crossroads: do we consume, or do we create? With every swipe, click, and play, we dive deeper into the ocean of content that surrounds us. Yet, amid this digital flood, a pressing question arises - one that urges us to consider the essence of our daily choices.

The Seduction of Consumption

Imagine this: the average person today devotes nearly 11 hours a day to consuming media. That's almost half of our waking lives are spent in a passive dance with devices, absorbing content that often leaves us no better than we were before. This appetite for consumption has not just become a habit, it has become a way of life.

But at what cost?

As we scroll through endless feeds, binge-watch series after series, and seek some advice listening to 3-hour-long podcasts, that consist mostly of integrated promotions we are often left feeling empty, as if we are searching for something more, something meaningful that remains perpetually out of reach. This relentless intake of content, much of it forgotten as quickly as it's consumed, begs the question: could this time be spent in pursuit of something more fulfilling?

The Creative Call

Now, imagine transforming those hours of consumption into hours of creation. Picture yourself picking up a paintbrush, crafting a story for your blog, coding an app, or recording music. Think of creation not as a monumental task, but as the simple act of bringing something new into existence—something that reflects a piece of you.

Creating is an act of courage. It's putting a piece of yourself out there, vulnerable to judgment, but also open to connection. Unlike consumption, which often isolates us, creation brings us closer to others, sharing in the universal human experience of making and discovering meaning.

The Impact of Creating

The power of creation extends beyond personal fulfillment. Every act of creation adds value to the world, whether it's a piece of art that moves someone emotionally, a product that solves a problem, or a gesture that brightens someone's day. Through creation, we find a purpose that consumption can never offer.

Consider the stories of individuals who've turned their passions into projects, hobbies into businesses, and ideas into movements. These arent tales of overnight success but of persistence, learning, and a relentless pursuit of something greater than oneself.

Your Creative Journey

Embarking on a creative journey doesn't mean abandoning all forms of consumption. After all, inspiration often comes from what we see, hear, and experience. However, it's about striking a balance—choosing to spend more time with the blank page, the empty canvas, or the untouched materials that await your touch.

Starting is the hardest part. It might begin with setting aside thirty minutes a day to focus on a project, learning a new skill, or simply brainstorming ideas. It's about making creation a habit, one small step at a time.

A Call to Action

So, I challenge you: next time you reach for your device to start another episode or scroll through social media, pause. Ask yourself, "Could I use this time to create something?" Your answer could be the first step toward a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

In the end, the choice between consuming and creating is more than a matter of time - it's a matter of what makes us feel truly alive. Let's choose to create, contribute, and change our little corner of the world, one act of creation at a time.

I am not perfect myself and I spend way more time consuming someone's content than creating and putting it out, but this has changed last couple of months. I have used some helpful tips, that led to posting my first Soundcloud mix this year, pacing up the development process of my first Shopify App - FanFuel, and other сreative activities. Even going to the gym - is a process of creating yourself, but I started seeing it this way only recently. I also distinguish diving into useful content and learning processes from mindless media consumption. Exploring new disciplines and sharpening my skills is an essential part of daily life.

To shift your focus from consuming to creating, here are practical steps, grounded in insights from productivity experts and psychological research, that I have tried myself. Implementing these steps can help you dedicate more time to creative endeavors:

1. Set Specific Goals

  • What: Define clear, achievable creative goals. Whether it's writing a certain number of words daily, completing a sketch, or building a project, specificity is key.
  • Why: Goals give direction and a sense of purpose, making it easier to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively. According to Locke and Latham's goal-setting theory, specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance.
  • Example: I have a clear goal for my DJing hobby - I need to record a mix and upload it on SoundCloud each month. Btw, I have just uploaded a 2nd episode, you can check it out here:

2. Schedule Creation Time

  • What: Block out dedicated time for creative work in your daily schedule. Treat this time as non-negotiable, the same way you would a meeting or a doctor's appointment.
  • Why: Time blocking helps combat the paradox of choice and reduces decision fatigue, as noted by psychologist Barry Schwartz. When you know exactly what you're supposed to be doing and when it's easier to get started.
  • Example: I have a time slot for daily meet-ups dedicated to the development process of my first Shopify App. Even though a meeting is not directly a creative process, brainstorming sessions and discussions make the building process way more productive and efficient.

3. Limit Consumption Windows

  • What: Allocate specific times for consuming content (e.g., 30 minutes of social media after lunch). Use apps like OneSec or tools to enforce these limits if necessary.
  • Why: Cal Newport, in his concept of digital minimalism, suggests that by limiting our digital engagement to specific times, we can reduce distractions and improve our capacity for deep work. You can check my review of one of his books here.
Find Focus in a Distracted World: A Review of “Deep Work” By Cal Newport
“Deep Work” is a thought-provoking and empowering guide to achieve greater focus and success in both your personal and professional life. Here is my review of this amazing book.
  • Example: I try to limit my media consumption time to 1-2 hours daily, social media around 30 minutes, and what is left goes to YouTube, Anime, and Twitch. Music has no limits at this point because I need to find new tunes to record mixes, this is a part of the creative process.

4. Create Before You Consume

  • What: Start your day with a creative task before checking emails, social media, or news. Make creation the first action of your day.
  • Why: Engaging in creative activities first thing in the morning takes advantage of your fresh mental energy, a principle supported by Daniel Pink's research on timing and productivity.
  • Example: On Tuesdays and Thursdays I follow this tip, while writing posts for my blog and also content for my LinkedIn account, and Fanfuel marketing materials. After waking it is much easier to create written content for me.

5. Curate Your Input

  • What: Be selective about what you consume. Choose content that inspires and educates, serving your creative goals and interests.
  • Why: Consuming high-quality content that aligns with your interests can stimulate creativity and provide valuable insights, as discussed in Austin Kleon's work on creativity.
  • Example: One of the best things you can do to eliminate mindless content consumption. I review my following on all social media and streaming apps once in 3 months, which helps to remove unnecessary content.

7. Practice Reflective Journaling

  • What: Keep a journal for reflections, ideas, and brainstorming. Regularly review and update it with new thoughts and inspirations.
  • Why: Journaling can serve as a tool for self-reflection and idea incubation, fostering creativity through introspection and problem-solving.
  • Example: I have covered this in one of my previous posts
How journaling can help you level up your daily life
Journaling has numerous benefits for mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It promotes self-awareness, reduces stress and anxiety, enhances creativity, improves mental health, boosts memory and comprehension, and increases productivity. Here is my take on journaling, let’s go!

8. Seek Feedback and Collaborate

  • What: Share your creations with others for feedback. Collaborate on projects to learn from peers and expand your creative horizons.
  • Why: Collaboration and feedback are vital for creative growth, offering new perspectives and ideas. Keith Sawyer highlights the importance of social and collaborative elements in creativity in his research on group genius.
  • Example: My music is shared on SoundCloud, and my ideas are presented here as blog posts, I do not get millions of listens, views, or comments, but many people provide feedback, which I am grateful for, sharing is king.

9. Embrace a Growth Mindset

  • What: Cultivate a growth mindset, believing that your creative abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.
  • Why: Carol Dweck's research on mindset shows that individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to persevere through challenges and view failures as opportunities to learn and grow.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on this important topic. I hope you found it informative and got some inspiration to create. If you enjoyed this blog post and want to stay updated on future content, be sure to subscribe to my blog. By subscribing, you'll be the first to know when I publish new articles, and you'll never miss a post. Plus, by subscribing, you'll be supporting my efforts to create valuable content for you. So, don't wait, hit the subscribe button now and join the community of readers who value quality content. Thank you, here are my social media links:

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Wishing you all a nice start to the coming week! Be good to yourself 😉