Produce More Than You Consume

I’ve noticed a trend lately. One which I am guilty of as much as my figurative neighbor. Individuals seem to be mistaking consumption for production. More specifically, consuming articles or blog posts is thought to produce a better and different you. Change you for the better by constantly reading others thoughts!

How many posts are you reading a day? Including news articles, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter posts, etc.? Too many to count, right? You think to yourself “How can I even come close to guessing this number?”. We consume more information nowadays than any generation before us. It is not even close. It is most likely an exponential model, similar to Moore’s Law.

Stop fooling yourself. Reading that next blog post or anecdote is not going to provide you with the golden nugget of information. It will not make you a super sayain human being possible of breaking through the barriers of reality and allow you to chose whomever you want to be whenever you want to be it. But this is not the problem. This is just the cause of the problem.

The problem is that most of the content being consumed is: Derivative. Trivial. Insightless. Yes I made that word up. We are filling our heads with garbage and thinking that we’re bettering ourselves. The amount of knowledge the average individual can process on any given day is approximately 1/10 the amount we consume.* That is 90% wasted time. And how do you even know the 10% you’re processing is the right 10%. You could be wasting 100% of your time!

What’s worse, is that we share this content to friends, thinking we’re producing progress in them as well. Has this scenario ever happened to you:

“Hey Joe, I came across this article and thought of you. Hope you’re doing well. ❤ Leslie”

The next day…

“Leslie! Hi! Funny running into you the day after you shared the article with me that had a somewhat relevant headline to my life. I really wish I had the 10 minutes back that I obligately (not made up) spent reading it because it was a dump truck of garbage information that didn’t make much sense at all. But at least now we have a common conversation point to discuss. Thank you so much for sending my way. Very thoughtful.”
“Joe, you silly idiot! I didn’t even read the article. I just sent it along to you because I thought there was a legitimate chance it would be marginally useful to you. I, like, don’t read any of the articles I send to my friends. Hehe. I’m silly too I guess.”

Outside of a curated list of tasteful individuals whom I trust to send me what they have already validated as good stuff, I’ve stopped reading most all articles sent to me. You should think about it too. It has saved me immeasurable amount of time. Which brings me full circle to my point. What to do with all this extra time you’re not blandly consuming?

Start producing. Whatever it is. Make. Give. Repeat.

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