Balancing production and consumption in the digital era
Published: 27 September, 2021 | 4 mins(s) read | Tags: #productivity
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 _International Public License (CC BY-NC-ND _4.0)
Most of us are addicted to consumption in this modern digital era. Or, Information Age. Information is available in abundance now. The amount which was never accessible for us humans ever since the dawn of time. We watch documentaries about planets, listen to podcasts on varied topics and can read about virtually anything in just Wikipedia alone. But this has reached a point where we are consuming in excess. We are less focused on doing anything with the information and more focused on the consumption itself. We have reached a point where we are in a consumption spree whether it be books, blogs, podcasts, youtube channels or learning.
A great way to counter the consumption spree is by balancing it out with production. Producing things that you want to and always have wanted to produce. It might be blog posts, youtube videos or art. You get the idea. The idea is to balance the consumption out with production. But I should tell you that there is a lot of unlearning that you have to do first in order to balance excessive consumption out.
Unlearning means exactly what it sounds like. You will have to learn to do things in a different way by changing or forgetting the way you used to do things before. The first thing to do is to unlearn or remove the excess junk in your daily life.
Our brain seeks things that we feed it regularly. If you feed useful and interesting things, our brain seeks more useful and interesting things. On the other hand if you feed it useless or uninteresting things, our brain will gladly seek more useless or uninteresting things.
If you are consuming in excess, it means there are many things like facebook, instagram, youtube or Twitter which are notorious for pushing you to an endless scroll of consuming useless information. You need to first clean up and unlearn them before having to do trade-offs between things that are more useful compared to these useless information. Like an interesting podcast or a youtube channel about history for instance are useful than endless scroll of useless information. Meanwhile learning a skill that will help you professionally is more useful than the aforementioned interesting podcast or the youtube channel about history.
The process of unlearning and relearning is about constantly cleaning up our consumption habits and replacing with better, less excessive consumption habits until we reach a sweet spot we know is better for us.
Going organic is great way to speed this process. I stopped having goals for reading books and writing blog posts. Or for the number of podcasts, youtube channels that I follow for that matter. Our brain needs time to process the information we have just consumed or are working with. So reading a book just after you finished another doesn’t let you extract the same amount of information. This is the same reason why you sometimes wake up with a solution you were working on the night before but couldn’t figure out. The same reason why sometimes short walks helps you solve a problem you were stuck with. So take your time to write a summary of the thing that you just consumed. I have personal notes for all the books that I have read and keep notes on podcast episodes I listen to. Going organic might seem slow for you at first. But if you really like consuming something, the best way to do it is by consuming it organically. This is because it will help you focus more and eventually the rate at which you can consume things increases.
Once you’ve balanced out consumption, the main villain. It is time for you to start producing things. Write blog posts instead of just reading them. Create an app that you’ve always wanted to. Start working on your next big project and build things with the information you’ve learned. It is the best way to use your knowledge. So produce! …Instead of just consuming.
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