The Danger Of Over Consumption

March 31, 2015

These monthly intentions have resulted in a lot more productivity and in the cultivation of better habits for me. I’m also finding that I carry many aspects of the previous intentions through to the current month. I started the year off with the intention of being organised and fostering meaningful relationships, in February I focused on doing the work and March was all about getting started on those little things that I said I would do but was waiting for the ‘right’ time. April is going to be about slowing down on all the information I’m consuming.

In January I cleared my desktop and my bookmarks. It’s been a slow but steady process of un-subscribing from newsletters, RSS feeds and the like. I don’t listen to every single pod-cast that promises to tell you how to grow your brand, or market yourself. I’ve become very strategic about what I listen to, what I read and what I ‘mark’ for ‘one day’.

Social media has made it so easy to over consume information. I feel like we’ve stopped filtering what’s really important and what information we need at this point in time to help us achieve whatever goal we have. I find that we’re saving things for ‘one day’ and we’re being ‘inspired’ by so many things that we spend our time just being inspired rather than being inspired and moved into action. That’s been one of the main dangers of over consuming information on-line for me – the constant stream of words and images that inspire without the careful allocation of time to act on that burst of inspiration for our own good.

I also feel that over consumption muddles with things. Who I want to be, the story I want to tell, the way I want to run my blog and develop my brand. I need to block many things out not only to get the work done but to also remain true to who and how I want to be. Being inspired has become a full-time job. We have so many plans, so many ideas, so many tabs open, so many bookmarks but less and less time to commit to learning and doing things that we actually want to become better at. It can confuse what we want to become better at as well, which was the question I asked on Instagram a few days ago…

This month I’m trying to make an effort to only read, listen to or explore things that fit the goals I have or the activities that I need to get done (or what I want to become better at). I’m stepping away from consuming information for the sake of inspiration. I think I’m inspired enough – I have notebooks filled with notes and ideas. I don’t need to subscribe for yet another ‘free’ e-book on becoming a better person or growing my mailing list (besides I don’t have a mailing list and I don’t want one, but that’s another post). What I need to be doing is creating instead of consuming.

Two tips that I’m using to help me along with this intention are:

i) Picking your teachers. Pick a few people who inspire you, whose work you respect and from whom you want to learn. And for the month block out the other voices.

ii) Identifying what purpose that piece of information would serve. I find myself filing things away for another day or ‘just in case’ situations. I now look at things in relation to my goals and what I need to get done now. I only engage if it’s relevant to what I’m doing at this particular point in time.

This month I’m hoping to create more and consume less.

How do you stop yourself from over-consuming? 
Do you have a go-to tip to encourage you to create instead of consume? 

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