How many times do you stop yourself each day to think about stuff? Do you even think during the day? Honestly, I’ve realized that I don’t spend as much time as necessary thinking about the next steps. My routine looks like this:
Wake up -> Cook something quick while thinking for a few minutes about random stuff -> Go to my desk, eat while watching youtube or twitch -> Go to reddit or consume more content -> Repeat
That’s the cycle of death. You get stuck in the consumption cycle the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep. A never ending cycle that consumes your life away month after month, year after year. Your cycle probably looks similar. How is that positive for your life? Where do you think it will lead you? Let me tell you: nowhere good and here’s why.
Everyday is costing you energy, time and money. The more time you spend stuck in this consumption cycle, the more money you lose. It makes sense if you think about it. Your rent is paid monthly which means you’re paying for each day you’re living at your apartment.
For instance, I pay 500€ rent with some extras that I won’t count for simplicity. If we consider that each month is 30 days, 500 / 30 = about 17 euros per day.
Can you afford to lose 17 euros each day of your life just for existing? It may seem low but that payment never stops unless you reduce your rent. That’s without considering your diet and many other payments that are required every so often.
My point is that you have to wake up from your existing cycles. You have to take the hard choices because they will lead to an easy life filled with happiness and enjoyment and each day is an opportunity with some clear costs. What are those choices?
Wake up 2 hours earlier than you’re used to. Jump out of bed regardless of how you feel (the bed is the most comfortable place in the universe when you’re waking up, that’s why it’s hard to get up quick). Do some exercises to get your body and mind going. Some simple jumps will do. Don’t forget to stretch.
Right after, drink some water and prepare some simple and nutritious food. Personally I found that I enjoy eating canned tuna with green peas since it is tasty, very fast to prepare and nutritious. Try it, you may like it too.
Then you sit with your computer and start working. This step is crucial because if you open the wrong website you’ll immediately be hooked and stuck inside the consumption cycle. What you have to do is not start it at all. Otherwise you risk wasting your entire day and I’m serious about that because I see it happen all the time. It’s a real risk we all face nowadays.
You may think you have control of how much time you spend on a specific website “I’ll just watch this one video” but your mind is malleable and marketers know how to use it against you for their benefit regardless of your willpower.
Social media websites like youtube and twitter are made by billion dollar companies. Companies that spend millions upon millions hiring the most expert scientists that understand the human brain to the extreme.
Trust me, they know how to grab your attention with an extra thick rope to never let it go until it’s too late. They take advantage of thousands of your brain biases to subconsciously make you desire to consume that content. They make you think about the next video, the catchy headline, the attractive picture.
That’s why you don’t want to give them a chance in the first place. Just don’t start consuming and start producing from the first second. This is how I do it:
I like to write. So what I do is write some notes about the day. Things I have in mind, stuff that I’d love to get done and creative ideas that I can put into practice. Just the very act of using my computer to write something makes me more productive, thus more likely to continue being productive.
I always thought that the more you produce, the more tired you get and the less able you’re to create content. And it’s partially true. We all get fatigue after working a lot. But there’s more to it. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t let it go until you stop enjoying it. Meaning, you can produce content for hours upon hours without even realising it just by enjoying the process.
Why do you think you can watch your favorite show for hours or read your favorite book for long hours without getting tired, yet you lose all your brainpower after a few hours of work?
Let me know if you want me to write another article about this specific topic because I have A LOT of things to say about addictions. I have experience with them and I think about these ideas quite often. Just respond to this email saying: “I’m interested in the addictions article” and I’ll create it if enough people like it.
Coming back to the topic at hand, you may be asking yourself: “How do I enjoy the process of working effortlessly for hours every day to accomplish my goals?” And that’s a good question. The answer is simple yet surprisingly deceiving: appreciate the little details of your work.
You’re probably confused right now. It doesn’t seem to make sense “how does appreciating the little details of my daily work help me enjoy being productive and work for longer hours?”. Here’s an example of what I mean by appreciating the details:
Let’s say you’re writing a book. It’s a book about something you love: playing guitar. You’re sharing your experience of converting emotions into music. How can you appreciate the details in this situation to dive into a 10 hours writing session?
I had a friend that always, when he started studying, touched the book in a somewhat obsessive manner to straighten the pages. He did this several times before getting to work and I always wondered “why is he caressing the book with such intensity?”
Recently I realized that he was appreciating, “feeling” the book with his touch which activates his senses and makes him enjoy the book more. Somewhat like failing in love with the book as crazy as that sounds.
He was the most successful student in the entire school yet he didn’t study that much.
So in the example of writing a book, try touching, caressing the book. If it’s a virtual book on your computer, extend your fingers to feel the keyboard. Do it in a calm and peaceful manner.
Then open your paint program and draw something quick. Use that image to write your book as some inspiration. Take a close look at the font used and the shapes it’s creating. Notice each letter’s perfect symmetry. Try to think of paragraphs as a river of intelligence that flows down the ocean, where all the collective human knowledge is stored.
It may seem weird but these actions lead you to enjoy the process more, to perceive the book in different ways, to appreciate the details.
It’s putting your soul into your work. It makes a massive different and people will notice it. You’ll become more productive, you’ll work for longer hours and you’ll enjoy the process even more than consuming other people’s content.
How can you appreciate your work in a different way? Share it with me, I’d love to hear from you.
Anyway, I’m writing this piece to make you think for yourself. To break from consumption and produce from the very second you start your day. By acting on the hard things of life you become a new type of person. Someone capable of creating what others think impossible. From consumer to creator.
There’s the same satisfaction and even more in creating compared to consuming. If you think about it, consuming is a fake satisfactory activity. You’re not accomplishing anything, you’re not feeling proud of what you’ve learned. All those feelings are related to producing, not consuming. Yet, entertainers have become so experienced on the human brain that they can make you feel as if you’ve created something. The same feeling but with opposite results.
Don’t let them take your accomplishments from you. Do the things that you wanna do and enjoy a creative life. That doesn’t mean disconnecting from all forms of consumerism. Far from it. It just means bringing creativity back to your life and being more strict with the control of your daily routine.
Be more mindful.