How much of your time is spent consuming? In this case, I am referring to consuming content, not food or other goods. For me sometimes it’s even more than 5 hours per week. According to Content Science Review, 20% of millennials spend 20+ consuming content per week, and 23% spend between 5 to 10 hours per week.
What Qualifies As Content Consumption?
It is not just entertainment. From youtube videos, reels, tik-toks, other social media posts, books, audio-books, research, magazines, movie, tv series, documentaries, and so on, even when you use all these in order to get informed, learn something new, or to improve your skills is still content consumption.
How Much Content Do You Consume Before Doing Something New?
You want to write about a new topic, start a new hobby, or learn a completely new skill. For how long do you watch and read about ways in which you could do that? I usually dive in for a while, and that’s not bad, but from a point forward I am just delaying starting to apply what I’ve learned.
So Much of Your Week Do You Spend Doing (Actioning)?
This ‘doing’ includes your everyday job as well, but only the times when you are actually engaged and working on your tasks. But besides that, do you have other periods of time where you do the things you keep reading about? Of course, some of the week is spent doing chores or attending social events, but we don’t include those here. It is very easy to fool yourself into thinking, that you are a person who acts and does things with your time rather than consuming most of your time. Looking busy it’s easier than ever to achieve.
Now, hang-oh I thought we are “human beings, not human doings!”
That’s right, I am not trying to convince you that you are not doing enough, but to make you look at your day objectively in terms of doing and consuming. You might be happy with how things are, then good for you. But at the same time so many of us feel addicted to our devices, and not because we are writing or creating breathtaking content on them.
So let’s add being to the equation.
Between Consuming, Doing, and Being Which One Dominates Your Week?
You might say well, ‘being’ happens no matter what, I need ‘to be’ in order to consume or do. Well, you do need to exist for that yes, but is it equal to being? Being, in this case, refers to being present, relaxed, and at peace with yourself. When was the last time you felt grounded and connected to your body and breath? Here is how the proportions are looking for me:
And here is how I want them to look (and actively working on it):
I think being and doing should dominate the week, in my case I want them to be almost equal because I want to do more of what makes me feel alive and present. There is so much content that I watch thinking that I could do that as well, but instead of doing I am just hitting the like button and scrolling over. I think that if we aim to rebalance these 3 ‘metrics’ we can be more productive, without hitting the burnout level. And yes, consuming content just for fun is ok too as long as you don’t get sucked into it.
How Can You Rebalance Consuming, Doing & Being?
- The first step, as already mentioned is to understand how much each of these takes of your time weekly. You can do a chart as well, of course, it’s going to be approximate, but it will help you put things in perspective.
- Then, what are you usually consuming? Make a list of the types of content you enjoy from entertainment purposes to improvement purposes.
- How many of the things from the content consumption list you would like to do/have in your life?
- Is there a way to replace watching something with doing it? (personal example: instead of making more Pinterest Boards with paintings that I would like to be able to do, spend 30 minutes playing with acrylics or drawing)
- Get rid of irrelevant content. No need to spend hours curating your feed, you are better off doing something you enjoy during this time, but whenever you spot a piece of content that is useless for you click unfollow, unsubscribe or don’t show this kind of post, or even block if it’s something harmful to you.
- Consider a digital detox. If it’s too complicated to get away from all the content, maybe it’s time for a cleanse. No need to give up everything, you can start by not checking one app for a week, turning off social notifications, or having a strict time limit for using the apps that make you scroll for hours. More about digital detox here & here about my short break from Instagram.
We are living in the content era and our attention is more valuable than ever so spend it wisely. What do you think about looking at your time from these 3 perspectives?