Home » Acceptance » Adaptability » A Modern-Day Guide to Balancing Creative Productivity with Consumerism

A Modern-Day Guide to Balancing Creative Productivity with Consumerism

Like I said in the video above, productivity is the combination of having creativity and taking action – using innovation to produce something of value. It’s a very active state of “doing” and its polar opposite is consumerism, which is more of a passive state of “being”. In the video, I explained in very simple terms that, as human beings, we require a balance of both states in order to be happy and healthy.

So for those of you who were interested in getting more concrete advice on how to reach that kind of equilibrium, here you go:

Some content enhances your creativity and revitalizes you, while others encourage you to stagnate. Reading a book is more stimulating than watching TV, listening to a podcast is more inspiring than scrolling through Facebook, Skyping with a friend is more engaging than playing video games.

We sometimes default to the less rousing activities because they’re easier and take less energy, but once you realize how addictive they are, you’ll understand why it’s so hard to get anything done once you get caught in their web. Replace these passive pastimes with activities that require more active participation and you’ll see what I mean.

No need to do it all at once. Start small and work your way up. Transition from daytime television to documentaries, from celebrity gossip to educational podcasts, from Snapchatting to reading books. Switch from mindless cat videos to TED talks. Switch from fiction to non-fiction. Switch from fear mongering to motivational content. Remember: baby steps.

Title Icon: 2 - Cut down your consumption of unnecessary things

In the past, I’ve spoken about the benefits of minimalism. I’m definitely a proponent, because I’ve seen how dramatically it can improve your life. The main thing I want you to understand is that there isn’t just one specific type of minimalism. You can have as many or as few possessions as you feel comfortable with, so you don’t have to become a monk to qualify. The basic premise is that you discard the things that don’t serve you and keep only what brings you joy.

Western society consumes too much of pretty much everything: TV (low quality content that numbs our thought process), Food (junk that’s too processed and has negligible nutritional value), Media (sensational news, propaganda, celebrity gossip) and Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). That doesn’t mean it’s all bad to consume and that we should do away with it altogether. I’m just saying we should be wary and mindful, so that we don’t overdo it with these things to the point where we lose our individuality.

Title Icon: 3 - Learn which time of day is better for creating and which for consuming

It’s important to keep in mind is that the processes of producing and consuming use two completely separate parts of your brain. The shallower, more transactional frontal cortex deals with consuming. This is the side we use when we scroll through posts on Facebook. It’s easy to access, so a lot of people default to that sort of thinking really early in the day.

The problem is, the part of your brain that governs deep, conceptual thinking is harder to shift to once you’re already in consumer mode. So, if you want to focus on creative projects later on, you have to put in a lot of extra effort. But if you start your day in producer mode, it will take less effort. Going straight into this mode takes less energy than switching to it later. From there it’s easy to slowly power down into consumer mode as you near the end of your day and get tired.

What this means in practical terms is doing productive, beneficial tasks that are meaningful first thing in the morning, as opposed to checking and responding to email or social media. It doesn’t necessarily have to be work, although tackling your to-do list is a great idea. It could be exercising, meditating, writing, cooking or anything else. The point is, being a producer means engaging in active activities. Avoid passive activities, like scrolling your newsfeed and skimming the news. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive. 

Title Icon: 4 - Keep track of how much you’ve consumed and whether it’s time to create more to even it out

It’s important to be aware of your consumption and production track record, so you’ll realize when you might be tipping the scale a little too much in favour of one or the other. Keeping a diary where you can write down how many things you did that day that counted as productive or consumerist can really help. If you notice that you did too much of either of them one day, try to switch to the other the next day.

Title Icon: 5 - Learn how to switch from consumer mode to producer mode

So now that you know you have the two modes of producer and consumer, and you know it’s best to start your day as a producer, rather than a consumer… how do you switch from one to the other? Especially when you’ve accidentally started off in the wrong mode! Here are some suggestions to help you flip the switch from consuming to producing:

  • Go for a walk without a source of music. This will make your brain start producing ideas. Keep a notepad handy to document whatever comes up. You might also run into people and produce a relationship/friendship, etc.
  • Start journaling. Use it as a brain dump to clear your head of feelings and thoughts that have been plaguing you. It can help you sort out problems and then eventually you will have enough clarity to start producing ideas.
  • Cook or bake something. Cooking stimulates new centres in your brain, whether you’ve never done it before or you just switch things up every now and then. Either way, it will clear your head – especially if you don’t have music, TV or podcasts running in the background. Cooking and baking can also give you quality time with people you share relationships or friendships with. It’s a great way to be creative and it counts as producing, because you can consume the result yourself or share it with someone else. Not to mention you save money and eat a little healthier in the process.

Title Icon: 6 - Innovate, don’t imitate

Every single one of us has a unique imagination and a deep-rooted desire to share it with the world through creative production. The best quality work results from digging deep and expressing our inner selves as authentically as possible. Given the pressure to produce on command these days, a lot of people resort to simply copying the work of others. They notice that something is popular and they try to make something similar. The problem is, they don’t change it enough. They stick so closely to the original that they end up creating a lesser quality version that no one resonates with.

We all have something to offer the world, something to teach others, something to share. And we all have a very unique way of conveying these ideas to others. When we embrace our own voice we move people that the original didn’t. We don’t all respond to the same thing, so it’s good that we explain things differently, coz then the same message can reach more people. If you merely imitate whatever inspired you, it results in work that comes of feeling fake. If you want people to connect to your creation, you need to imbue it with your soul and put some passion into it.  

Title Icon: 7 - Create what you want to consume

Feeling a little stuck and don’t know what you can create during your productivity time? Well, the best way to come up with an idea is to pay attention to what you love to consume and try to improve it. It’s how everything in history has ever been upgraded. Do you enjoy playing video games? Design a better video game than any of the ones you’ve ever loved. Enjoy reading? Then write a book that will move millions. Like listening to podcasts? Start one for yourself and develop a loyal following that’s interested in what you have to say. Do you love watching YouTube videos? Why not set up a channel of your own? Design it, write it, draw it. Whatever it is, just do it!

Title Icon: 8 - Producing can mean more than just artistic endeavours

A lot of people think that creating and producing can only be found in the form of artistic endeavours like painting, writing, dancing, etc. But like I said in this video, creativity can be imbued into literally anything. You can use it to create relationships, commercial products, inspirational messages, ideas that change the world, art that moves peopleThere’s no end to what you can create using a little confidence and innovation.


Try out these tips and if you’re still finding this advice hard to implement, ask for help in the comments below, send me a message, or book a FREE breakthrough session to see how I can help you through Skype.

You can find more Happiness Strategy videos on my YouTube channel, so subscribe to make sure you never miss an episode! I come out with a new one every single Sunday.

Until next time, remember: Happiness doesn’t require energy. It requires Strategy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *