Consumption vs. Contribution – 2018 New Year’s Resolution
- My resolution this year is to write more.
- Prioritize content creation vs. my overindulgent content consumption.
- My plan for success…
- Wednesday and Friday are “contribution” days.
- I can only create content on contribution days.
- The rest of the days are “consumption” days.
- I’m allowed to consume content on consumption days, but if inspiration strikes, I’m allowed to create content any day.
Like everyone this time of year, I follow the tradition of making new year’s resolutions – both personally and professionally. I am rarely very successful, but alas, I try. I’m determined to be more successful this year, so I’m attempting to simplify things by focusing on just one main resolution — to write more.
My problem, aside from getting bogged down by all the little things it takes to run a creative agency (email, meetings, reviews, finances, etc.), is that I tend to spend every free second consuming information to make sure we’re keeping up with the latest trends and best practices across all the services we offer – design, development, and strategic marketing. It’s borderline OCD to the point that I constantly feel like I’m missing out on great content if I don’t keep up. However, when I get into conversations, whether it just be with friends, family, clients, or prospective clients, I realize that I have a lot of interesting, uncommon knowledge to share that I never do in a public fashion.
I’m so appreciative of all the content creators out there that I feel like I
should need to share more in order to give back to the community that I’m always taking from. I thoroughly enjoy writing and sharing what I know (my wife swears I was a teacher in another life) so this shouldn’t be that difficult.
However, there’s the issue of my obsessive consumption of content and my inability to prioritize contributing over consuming. To deal with similar hurdles, I like to create a semi-formal game plan to organize a structured approach to breaking my unfavorable habits. Then, once I find my groove and reestablish preferred habits, I can be more flexible.
Contribution vs. Consumption Strategy
So, I’ve developed a contribution/consumption strategy. Each day of the week is either a “consumption” day or a “contribution” day. Because contributing is quite a bit more work than consumption, I’m only designating two days a week as contribution days – Wednesday and Friday. The rest of the days of the week are consumption days. The strategy here is to start small. The same way you can’t just up and run a marathon without first getting off the couch and putting your shoes on, then running a mile or two, then 5, then 10, and so on, I believe that I need to set small, realistic goal of designating two days a week where I prioritize content creation over consumption. From there, we’ll see what happens.
Here are the rules…
On “contribution” days, I’m forbidden from consuming any new content. This means blog posts, video tutorials, podcasts, etc. Things like email and Slack are okay because, well, I still have a business to run, but I’ll limit this to only work-related items. Any down time on contribution days that I often spend getting caught up on the million things I want to read must be dedicated to content creation – writing, tweeting, sharing, etc. I won’t necessarily be putting something out every single Wednesday and Friday, but all of my free time must be used towards contributing something back to the community. I may not write an entire article, but I have to at least work on one.
The rest of the days of the week are regular “consumption” days where I can read all my email newsletters, watch some videos, etc. However, I’m NOT forbidden from contributing on consumption days. One of the things about the creative process, at least for me, is that you can’t just turn it on and off. If creative inspiration strikes, I can (and should) embrace those moments and put something out into the world, any time.
Why not Tuesday and Thursday?
There’s a little bit of strategic thinking around my choices of Wednesday and Friday. I couldn’t do Monday because, well, Mon-daze. In all seriousness though, Monday is often a day to kind of get organized for the week, which means that Tuesday is really when you (I) finally dive deep into work. I didn’t feel like Tuesday was the right day to try to use a ton of brain power on content creation. Wednesday felt like the part of the week where I have everything under control and can embrace the creative process. I didn’t want to do two days in a row, and I didn’t really want to do the weekend (for obvious reasons), so that left Friday. Friday is actually a great day for this, though. My email slows down, the week is wrapping up and unless I have a deadline (which we avoid scheduling for Fridays), there isn’t must urgency around the office which makes it easier to allocate some time for writing.
Cool? Cool. Let’s recap…
Contribution days = content creation only, no consumption of new content.
Consumption days = allowed to consume content, but not restricted from creating content if the creative juices kick in.
That’s my plan. I’m excited about it and I hope that by making it public, ya’ll can hold me to it.
Here we go and here’s to 2018!