From Consumerism To The Act of Creating

tegen-charlotte-consumerism-1I have been lately studying my patterns of work and monitoring the time I spend in different activities to try to improve my productivity and results.

And after applying a lot of tactics like Pomodro, 7 principles of highly effective people, eating the frog, delegation, GTD I was still wondering why I don’t see a lot of results from the things I do.

Then a few days back I was reading this article regarding Side Projects and how to find time for them, and suddenly I stumbled upon on this amazing concept, I didn’t realize until now: switching from consumerism to the act of creating. I realized I was exactly doing that: consuming not creating.

Even though I was involved in a lot of tasks and projects like: learning a new language, or reading blogs about internet security, go to some seminars  up to more obvious tasks like buying a new running shoes (which in my mind was a task rather related to doing physical activity) I realized I was only consuming not creating.

Consumerism is a sneaky little fella, it tricks your brain into thinking it’s doing something, doesn’t take a lot of effort, so you feel satisfied but at the end of the day you don’t have any practical results.

I was feeling so proud of myself because I wasn’t one of those kinds of people who read gossip blogs or watch TV or even sports; I was dedicating my whole time to learning smart stuff. But I was still consuming content without doing anything with it.

One famous quote resumes my point very well…

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” 
– Leonardo da Vinci

In the same period of time I read an article about getting fit. And this lady was telling her story and said something like “knowing the solution for something doesn’t necessarily make a difference, unless you put what you know in action”.

Then I though back to the moments I felt most productive and active, when I had a specific problem to solve, or a specific thing to create (I once was able to make some amazing things with Photoshop in just 3 hours by knowing what I want as an end result).

So it was clear for me I need a paradigm shift. So that’s what I recommend you also do. Every time you start doing an activity, or task ask yourself this: is it a consumeristic or a creationistic activity. Try to maintain the creationism as high as possible. I’m sure you will not be able to give up consuming things but try to incline the balance in that direction.

The funny thing is that while doing some research for writing this, I was trying to find the appropriate word for defining the Act of Creating, it’s somewhere near “Creationism”, but that refers more to the religious views, “Producerism” has some negative connotations, expressing a negativity towards the non-working, thus non-producing elements of a social structure, and at the same time producing isn’t the same thing as creating and “Creativity” is more of a trait that the actual act of creating. So given that there isn’t even a word for it, no wonder we don’t even think about it, or have it as an ideology.


Image Source: Tegen Charlotte – Consumerism