What To Do When Inspiration Backfires
If you walked into my house right now you would see one thing everywhere. Books, lots and lots of books.
I have two large bookshelves in my office overflowing with books. There are books on my night stand, on my kitchen counter and even in my car. (My favorite time to consume content is while I am waiting int the car rider pick up line. But more on that later.)
If I let you peek inside my phone, you would see my overflowing list of podcasts and several books on Audible waiting to be listened to or re-listened to.
I am definitely a consumer. I love to read, listen to books on audio and podcasts, and I'm pretty addicted to watching live videos on Facebook these days.
My hunger for knowledge doesn't seem to be quenched. And this is a good thing. Learners are earners after all.
Because of this never ending desire to be inspired and learn new things I can quickly find myself lost down a rabbit hole.
If you are anything like me, you can relate to the times that inspiration has backfired. Do you ever find yourself consuming more than you are creating? When we spend more time consuming content than creating our own our business suffers.
Here are a few issues that arise when we are consuming more content than we are creating...
- We find ourselves sucked into a rabbit hole on the internet. Facebook Live videos, blog posts, YouTube, and even Instagram stories take us into far away places that we never intended to go. The five minutes we planned to spend has turned into an hour and our own creative creation is sitting on the sidelines.
- Comparison steals our confidence. Because we spent more time consuming other people's content than creating our own, we now find ourselves feeling less than. We see what other people are doing and start to doubt that what we have to offer is even any good. This takes us way to close to the edge of throwing in the towel.
- We feed the procrastination demon. The more content we consume, the deeper the rabbit hole, the more we avoid doing our own work. This can quickly turn into us avoiding the hard things in our business that produce results.
Are you consuming more than you are creating?
You are creating when you are...
- working on your own product
- drafting that sales page
- writing that blog post
- sending that email out to your list
- recording that video
You are consuming other people's content when you are...
- reading that book
- watching that video
- reading that blog post
- flipping through that magazine
- binging on Netflix
The solution? Create more than you consume. Always. Spend more time creating than consuming and your ratio will be just as it should be.
Here are two tips to help you keep your CREATE vs. CONSUME ratio in order. Remember, the goal is to always create more than you consume.
#1 CREATE BEFORE YOU CONSUME
Make it a point to work on your own content creation before you consume other people's content.
The best way to do this is to maintain a schedule that supports this focus. I start my work day by spending the first three to four hours creating my own content. Whether it is working on the content for my new Inner Circle, writing a blog post, shooting a live Facebook video or sending an email to my list. I always work on content creation during the first large chunk of my work day.
You might be thinking, "Rebecca, there is no way I can spend three or four hours on creating content each day for my business." That's okay. I get that.
If you are building your business as a side business with limited time it is even more vital to create more than you consume. It isn't about how many hours you spend on content creation. It's about always creating more than you consume.
#2 PLAN YOUR CONSUMPTION
Jim Rohn was known for saying if we "fail to plan then we plan to fail." This is true when it comes to our create vs. consume ratio.
In order to avoid getting caught consuming more content than you create, it's important to have a plan for when you will consume. We agree that we find tons of inspiration and motivation from the content we consume.
Create a "stack" of the things you want to read or listen to. And then, when it is a good time, indulge and devour. But the key is to make sure it is AFTER you create.
Here are a few ideas of times to spend consuming content...
- waiting in line
- walking your dog
- before bed
- my favorite...while waiting in the car rider line to pick up the kiddos from school
- while driving...my favorite time to listen to podcasts and books on Audible
Each time you come across something tempting to consume, add it to your stack. Then dive in when it is the appropriate time.
The next time you feel yourself getting caught in a rabbit hole on the internet or find that you are consuming way more content than you are creating, take a look at your habits. Put these two tips into place and see if it makes a difference in your content creation.
Because I always want this blog to be a place of inspiration for you and not a rabbit hole, I want to challenge you today.
Tell me, what's the one action you can take today to move your most creative project ahead? Leave me a comment and let me cheer you on.