Limit consumption and increase action {31 Days}

Yesterday we talked about how some of the sources of information we consume for creative inspiration can actually have a negative effect on us.

These days, blogs, books, websites, magazines, etc. provide an infinite amount of information and inspiration, but imbibing too much can be unhealthy. What’s the point of looking at inspiration if we’re not actually making anything?

Dream and act

I think the solution is limiting what we consume as well as how often we consume it.

When deciding whether or not I should give my attention to a certain source of information, this is the most helpful filter for me:

Does this source inspire me to positive thoughts and/or action? Or does it pull me towards comparison, doubt, and inaction?

Note: I am not blaming the source; I’m just evaluating how I react to it.

When it comes to the amount of consumption, honestly, spending too much time online is sometimes a real issue for me. I’ll feel obligated to read every blog post in my Google Reader. What!? Or, I check Facebook every few hours just to zone out and see what everyone is up to. WHAT!?

Acting according to your priorities, learning personal discipline, praying through any root issues involved, and cultivating time management are key to improving in this area. And I have a lot of room to grow in all of those!

For example, right now I’m writing this post in a coffee shop. I’ve been here for a couple of hours, working on a creative project. For the first two hours, I kept checking Twitter, Facebook, and blogs on my phone. Seriously? I’m here on purpose, following my own advice to carve out time for creative action and yet I’m still distracted by social media, even though my laptop isn’t connected to the internet. I think this was caused by my feeling that I might “miss something” on Twitter or FB, a fear of committing to a project and failing, and a lack of discipline.

A better course of action would have been to text my husband and tell him that I’m turning off my phone for a few hours and he knows where I am if he needs me, and then turn off the phone and commit to not turning it back on until a certain time.

Like I said, this is definitely something I’m continuing to work on!

One helpful resource on this topic is Don Miller’s The Way of the Creator blog series. It includes a lot of wisdom on creating v. consuming, and I found it really thought-provoking.

What do you think about limiting consumption of “inspiration”?

{31 Days of Creativity Babysteps}

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4 Responses to Limit consumption and increase action {31 Days}

  1. kathy t says:

    Leslie, you hit the nail on the head. -I find I can’t even get a blog started because I am so afraid of failing (-When I actually read what I just typed it really sounds pitiful!) I spend too much time on my phone too -truly there would be nothing that I would miss –I will be trying over these next several weeks along with you to be more aware of where I use my time –Thanks for this series -I am also going to read Don Miller’s series.

  2. Annie says:

    I have to get better, I think, at the “turning off” part. I quit Facebook a while ago, and I’ve loved the freedom I feel from that device. Unfortunately, I do still turn to Twitter and blogging. I love both of these outlets, but I think I may need to designate “technology-free” days or hours in order to make sure I’m taking that inspiration and actually DOING something creative with it. I love Pinterest as much as the next person (maybe more, lol), but I want to actually take what I see there and implement it creatively. I can’t do that If I’m glued to a computer screen.

  3. annie says:

    i definitely think this is true. i had to do this myself once when i was trying to write a paper. i intentionally went to the coffee shop on campus so i’d be free of distractions in my on-campus apartment, turned off my technology, and whipped out that paper. inspiration via social media is all well and good, but i think we fail to recognize that it has a time and a place that is not all the time and everywhere.

    i found you on twitter a while ago and have only just meandered to your blog, but i love what i’m reading so far and am disappointed i didn’t find you earlier!

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