Creation / Consumption
WIP theory, still working on structure. Send me your thoughts and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
We live in an abundance of information. It gets harder to know when you need to consume information, and when you need to act on it. This theory is designed to help people to better balance how and when to consume and create information at work and at home.
Have you ever experienced going to work and having the feeling you never left work? This is because of the imbalance of Creation and Consumption. Have you ever felt that your routine of eating take out/ watching TV/ online shopping doesn’t recharge or relax you as it suppose to? This means your life out of work might lack Creation.
Defining Creation and Consumption
Having a balance of Creation and Consumption of information at work and at home will increase your productivity and satisfaction. I tested this theory on a couple of friends and co-workers, and they are expressing positive influence on their lives when using this theory. I’m working on a guidebook and tool that will help people balance their Creation and Consumption to live a more productive and fulfilled life
The creator at work and consumer at home.
Michelle is a financial analyst. She creates spreadsheets everyday, most of the day. She analyzes, summarizes, presents all things numbers. Her creation bucket gets overloaded and she might feel exhausted by the end of the day if she doesn’t balance her day. To balance her day at work she needs to find the time to consume information. She can do it in a variety of ways:
listening to a podcast, professional or personal
talking to co-workers
chatting to her friends during the lunch
The list can go on depending on what Michelle enjoys. If she balances the day properly, she will not feel exhausted, but still full of energy by the end of the day. That means she has that energy to spend on her loved ones and for her personal projects.
Maybe she enjoys walks with her sister, or she feels good by pro bono helping a non-profit with their accounting, or she wants to watch that show everybody is talking about. All the actions above can be labeled as creation or consumption.
From the quantitate research I’ve done I noticed that most of the people are over-consuming at home. That can include:
watching screens (social media, movies, shows, playing video games)
workouts (consuming your energy)
Just watching a TV show is not enough for relaxing at home. Just meeting the deadlines and working your ass off at work doesn’t bring you healthy happiness. Nevertheless any of the actions above can bring Creation to your life, and balance your time off as well. When we start creating at home, our lives become more meaningful. Just watching a TV show is not enough for relaxing at home. Discussing a TV show brings up creation into picture. Switching from watching to reading a book awakens imagination, creativity.
Consumption stimulates creativity. Nevertheless it can be “empty” consumption if it’s not processed and applied into creation.
The consumer at work and “empty” creator at home.
Have you seen Jules at work? Not much, at least not at their desk. They is stuck in meetings. Maybe they is in a leadership role, maybe they is a project coordinator, or it’s just busy on strategy time of the year. Jules always breathes heavily when finally sitting down at her desk. Do you think they might benefit from creation? Maybe taking that marker and making some sense out of meeting on white board. Maybe putting together a puzzle at a community table. Or perhaps mentoring their co-worker who does the job that Jules used to do before they took that promotion.
Not all actions can be easily placed into consumption or creation square. For example, mentorship consists of 1 side consumption of information - listening to what needs to be addressed, and second part is creating your answer. Mentorship can have different forms:
Sharing your experience and opinion.
Giving feedback is a form of mentorship.
Giving directions because you were longer than your co-worker with the company.
Proactive and on-demand learning are both important to grow in your career. There’re times that we need more on-demand learning. Eg. When starting a new job, project, starting to work on a new tool. Nevertheless when you settled with the tasks you perform, you still need to continue education, learn new trends and tools in your field, and of course share your knowledge.
Jules finds joy in cooking at home, they needs that chat with the neighbor about their day. Jules seeks creation organically. But sometimes all she can do is just drop dead on the couch, since the meetings and constant consumption heavily imbalanced their life. Jules goes to the same workout and embraces their home routine. If they steps out of even the workout routine, and maybe go for a run in the park, or take a class, or dance, they will feel more motivated the next day.
From theory to tool
In order for a theory to actually help people, I created a tool that applies the basic principles of theory and educates the audience.
Here you can see the first wireframe of Creation/Consumption application.
The name of the tool is Lil Helper. Color coded boxes will change the intensity of color depending how much time you add to a bucket. For example, if you spend lots of time creating at work, the lower left corner will get darker.