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A Bit of Inspiration

The Conscious Creator

Published 3 months ago • 4 min read

26. JAN. 2023

The Conscious Creator

How to Consume Content the Right Way


Hey guys,

How are you? I hope you're having an awesome Friday!

Before we get into this week's issue, I wanted to remind you that I launched Story Seeds some days ago. I'd love to hear feedback from those of you who've downloaded it and used it.

If you haven't downloaded it yet, you can do it by clicking on this link.

That's for now, let's dive right into this week's topic about consuming content as a creator.

You open up the browser.

You start to consume content that catches your eye.

Soon, you find yourself deep into the rabbit hole of the internet and social media.

You bookmark what you read (telling yourself it's for later).

Then, the spiral continues as you watch a couple of educational and informative videos, maybe even a Ted Talk or two.

Many hours have gone before you know it.

What seemed like a productive day on the surface has turned into procrastination in disguise.

Do you see yourself in this scenario?

If yes, you're not alone.

Most of the time, we end up in places on the internet without even being aware of it.

And while we endlessly consume content, our subconscious brain takes in these inputs that don't necessarily serve us.

I can't count on my fingers how many times this has happened to me.

If you don't have a filter for your consuming habits. The internet will serve up its palette of content for you.

As a creator, you need to curate your consumption for better creation.

If you don't, the risk is Information Overload. Which heavily reduces your ability to focus, and make decisions.

The Negative Spiral of Content Consuming

When my daughter is around other people, especially other children, she gets excited.

At the end of the day, when she's about to sleep, she becomes restless and overwhelmed, finding it hard to calm down.

The reason is that she was met with a lot of external stimulation during the day.

The abundance of content available to us has a similar effect.

Constant bombardment with it is overwhelming, leading to a negative spiral of anxiety, stress, or potential burnout.

Another thing is when your consumption overweighs your creative output. You end up dampening your voice with the voice of others.

You create a big gap between the brush (consumption) and the canvas (creation).

That's when doubt begins to creep in.

You might find it harder to create with confidence and share your work with others.

Because all of you can think about is, "Is what I'm doing good enough?" or "Will people even like what I'm making?"

Decluttering for Better Focus

What you need to do is declutter your mind to take control of your focus.

You know the feeling of a home that's messy and untidy, right?

How does it make you feel?

When that happens to me, I feel unprepared, and I can feel my confidence being affected by it.

The physical mess becomes a reflection of how I'm feeling with myself.

The home is a mess. I'm a mess.

Constantly consuming content on the internet without it leading to an output will only make you a consumer of content.

How to Overcome Content Overload

The first step is to become aware of your consuming habits.

What are the places where you're consuming information?

Where do you collect and store that information?

What use are you making of that information?

You can't change a habit of yours unless you're aware of it.

With that in mind, here are a few things that have helped me:

1) Intention Is Everything

When you're consuming content as a creator, what's your intention?

What are the topics you're looking to dive deep into?

What's the outcome that you're hoping to get?

Is it to find golden nuggets (ideas) that resonate with you that you can create content of?

Is it to find information to help you get started on a project?

You're avoiding wasting a lot of your time when you've got a goal in mind.

2) A Place to Collect and Store Everything

There's nothing worse for a creator than having the content you consume scattered across different platforms.

Instead, have a platform where you can collect all your readings in one place for better focus.

I use Reader for this. So, when I come across interesting content, I can save it to the app or in the browser.

With Reader, I'm also able to make highlights and notes which are automatically stored in my Readwise account.

Having a system like that reduces the friction of a scattered mind.

3) Have a Creative Practice

Engaging in a creative practice every day is the best way to combat content consumption.

Whether it's through drawing, painting, designing, writing, cooking, singing, etc.

Your motive in a creative practice is not to produce, but to practice—to keep your creative juice flowing.

The more you practice, the more confident you become.

My form of creative practice is writing. I write every day. I write to explore things I'm curious about. It makes me a better writer and a better thinker.

4) Timebox Yourself or Take a Break

If you find it challenging to stop consuming content, try timeboxing yourself.

Set a time limit of 30 minutes to an hour for content consumption. Once the time is up, let go and return to your work.

Often, what we truly need is to take a break from consuming content.

This might mean deleting apps from your phone or simply turning off notifications to resist the urge to always check-in.

In the meantime, seeks other forms of stimulation like reading a book, exercising, going for a walk or run, engaging in a creative practice, or playing games.

Final Thought

Balancing the act of showing up every day to create and combating the urge to consume too much is a constant battle.

But the thing is, mindless consumption won't provide you with the desired outcome.

You might think you're moving forward and learning. But in reality, you've fallen into the trap of the illusion of competence.

When content consumption is done intentionally. It becomes a valuable asset in your content creation.

Consuming the right content helps bridge the gap from where you're now to where you want to be.

But what's most important is the outcome of your consumption in relation to your desired outcome.


Thanks a lot for reading, as always.

If you enjoyed the issue, please share it with someone you think will enjoy it, too.

If you aren’t subscribed yet, you can do it here.

Until next time,

Stay inspired!

Sharmarke

A Bit of Inspiration

Sharmarke

Every Friday, I send out a newsletter that fuels your creativity, broadens your horizons, and explores overlooked ideas. All to spark your own journey of self-discovery and transformation.

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