The Art of Producing More and Consuming Less
Once, I heard an influencer saying in an interview, “Always produce more than you consume”. I did not know of her previous work, but this phrase stuck with me. I am a fan of podcasts and interviews. It doesn’t matter if they talk about my interests or not, I have a weird fetish of listening to others’ journey. I did not understand what she meant by that phrase back then. Finally, after unsuccessfully managing my time for years — juggling between studying for LAW, working, and blogging, I have cracked a perfect code to quadruple your daily happiness and productivity by limiting on the daily consumption.
What is this mantra?
Maintain a distance from lazy people
We all have one colleague who lets the time pass by. He’s waiting for office hours to get over — Stay away from him. Unproductive people are contagious. The researchers, Marie Devaine and Jean Daunizeau, concluded in a study that laziness is contagious. “We have shown that people’s attitude towards the effort, delay or risk drifts towards that of others’’, they said. Nobody wants to surround themselves with sad people. You want to stay happy. Likewise, unproductivity is a negative trait, and it makes sense to surround yourself by motivated people.
Unsubscribe from the mailing lists.
We all receive promotional emails that we don’t open. Sometimes we even wonder — how did they get our mailing addresses? It also creates a fake illusion that everybody is doing something, which in turn, demotivates you. I receive promotional emails from random doctors, psychics, and foreign universities. This adds up on the noise and distracts you from your goal. It messes up with your head. It happens more often than not that you start reading a random piece of information and can’t help but dig more about it — at the expense of your own time and own work. In the end, you are engulfed by guilt. Consciously, keep a track on people who add value to your lives. Cut off all the other noises — you’ll hear your heroes more clearly.
Dump the distractions
Do you find yourself looking at your social media while working? Do you find yourself looking at your email, hoping to get positive feedback from your boss? As professionals, we need to stay updated. Yet, it is not natural to refresh your phone every ten minutes. A study says that on an average an American views his smartphone 52 times day. Fifty-nine percent use their personal smartphone during working hours “very/fairly often”. It makes sense to turn off notifications on the phone or keep it on silent mode during working hours.
Stop keeping an eye on the competition
All the business moguls, calm down. I’m not talking about any strategies. This is for those people who compare their success with other people’s success. The measure of their success is rooted in comparisons. They don’t focus on the principles of expansion and growth. If you want to be better at your job, stop bothering whether your colleague is pitching an idea or not. It’s a balancing rope and you will fall the moment you lose the sight.
Ditch your old habits
I genuinely believe in the benefits of getting up early in the morning. When everybody is sleeping, there is not enough to consume. You are left with nothing but an itch to create. Wake up early and start working on your goals. When everybody else is dreaming about their goals, you should be on the road to achieving them. According to a study, 90% of executives wake up before 6 am on weekdays.
Also, put your phone on the airplane mode or dump it to the other room — It’s 6 am, you won’t receive an important call for at least two hours.
Lack of time — a lame excuse
You always have time. Steve Jobs also had 24 hours. You cannot use time as an excuse. What you need to do is to acknowledge your lack of discipline and consistency. Start little. Write while commuting.“All goals and projects are made up of smaller parts that need to be accomplished to achieve the goal, or complete the project. Create to-do lists for each goal and project, listing all the measurable steps that need to be accomplished,” suggests William Lipovsky.
Delete wasteful apps
Delete the apps that serve you no good — the apps which do not contribute toward your purpose. There are many applications which pay you to take up a survey. They offer incentives if you play a game. Photo editing apps that you don’t even use, the addictive games — delete them all. It’s way better to have a gaming set at home — it ensures you only play games when you are free.
Delete the bookmarks
I have made a pact with myself — I would only engage with pieces I’ve thoroughly read. I comment on mostly every post I read. I do not have a reading list on any blogging platform. I used to have one, but it was only piling up. Automatically, my mind is more conscious about reading and only reads when it can efficiently process a given piece of information, and not when it’s bored or uninspired. It is a win-win situation for me. It improves the quality of my reading and also saves me from unnecessary wastage of time.
For example, watch TV every night at 8 pm for two hours, or take a mid-day break for 10 minutes. Take that sweet time to get updated and inspired. You can assign Wednesdays for NetFlix and Plan watching movies on Saturdays. Do not work at this time. The aim is to consume as much as you can and not create at this time. Soon it will be an overdose and you’ll want to create again. It is tricking ourselves into believing that this time is our reward. It is the other way round. According to researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book “Flow”, Sunday at noon is the “unhappiest hour in America” because that’s the time people are the least productive. This indicates that our happiness is linked with productivity. Hence, it makes sense to put ourselves on a schedule to boost our productivity and happiness.
Productivity is the fuel we need to ignite, and mindful consumption ensures it burns golden