Create more than you consume

We live in a time where information is in abundance. It’s information overload. Tens of apps in your phone screaming for your attention. All seem too important to not miss out on. Apps like Pocket help you save content for later, which in reality rarely get consumed. FOMO is a very common feeling when you try and ignore the content coming at you. Over time, over-consumption of content leaves us incapable of creating.

Try this, create something new everyday for the next 7 days. It could be a short article, a new tweet to publish or an Instagram post.

It’s way harder than you think. But consistently creating over time helps you think deeply, structure your thoughts better and overall make you more mindful and deliberate.

It’s easy to scroll your phone mindlessly and your chemicals reward you for it as well! I had a realization very recently when I was reading an article on product management, which was that, in reality I am not achieving much by reading this article right now, but I feel like I am actually reading something that could be potentially useful to me sometime in the future. But by the time the article could be useful to me, it’s hardly useful as very likely I’d not remember much about it. It just made me feel productive and barely contributed to any real productivity.

Consuming a huge quantity of information often feels productive, but in reality, we don’t remember most of it. Rather, what is more useful is a deliberate consumption of information and reflection of it, that gets registered better. And if you want to remember it even better, create something around it, a note, article, bullet points, something.

So the next time you are reading a seemingly important article, or watching a potentially useful video, ask yourself if this is simply making you feel productive right now or something that you will actually take something away from. And to increase the chances of the latter, make it more deliberate. Make notes or reflect upon what you just consumed.

Over time, as you consume information more deliberately, you will naturally start creating a lot more. And creating more than you consume ensures that what you consume actually has an impact on you vs just releasing some dopamine and make you feel accomplished.

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