the balance between creation and consumption

As I’ve written about many times, there is no greater pleasure and challenge than having full control over your own time on a day-to-day basis.

Some challenges are obvious: the pure discipline of getting out of bed, getting into work mode, and being productive – things that aren’t just replying to emails. The stuff of Steven Pressfield’s work on “Turning Pro.”

But there is another challenge that’s more insidious and hard to identify and overcome: the balance between creation and consumption.

I love to read, I love to look at the work of other people I admire, and I love to try and deconstruct or reverse-engineer the processes of other people doing work I aspire to. The problem is, there is an endless amount of that information to consume and try and deconstruct.

I think in the past week alone, I’ve joined a half dozen email lists all with their own free giveaways and introductory webinars, on and on. I’ve started reading two books and found a couple new podcasts I’m interested in.

And they all offer incredibly useful and helpful information. But without protecting time for creation, it’s impossible to put any of it to use.

This is once again where I find it imperative to set daily goals and plan daily tasks. Assigning certain tasks to yourself that you don’t negotiate with yourself to get out of. You have to take the role of parent or teacher with yourself: If you do your homework, you can watch TV.

It’s easy for consumption to slowly take over your whole day. If you find yourself reading another article, scrolling another feed, listening to another podcast, or watching another video – ask yourself: have I spent enough time creating today?


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