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How to switch from "consumer" to "creator" mindset?

So I was reading this book some days back (I believe it was 'Atomic Habits') , in which the author says, that unless you change your mindset from "consumption" to "creation", you will be stuck with consuming more and producing less irrespective of what your goal is (or something similar to that effect).

I believe I'm one of those who switch from a "creation" to a "consumption" based mindset, once the day job ends. I believe its mostly due to mental fatigue, where you've given your best to the day job and feel completely spent after working for 7-8 hours.

I mean I can do some basic stuff like checking out a new tech or read some article, but find it incredibly hard to build anything of value with the same energy which I give to my day job. Its often the case of 1 step forward and 2 steps back, where I try to maintain high energy after work for a day before falling back to Netflix instead of picking up the laptop at the end of the work-day. My day job is not that brutal as compared to many (its mostly 40-45 hours per week on most days), so I feel I shouldn't be that tired at the end of the day. I constantly hear of people who work 80-100 hour work weeks, and cannot help but wonder what are they made of ?

Are there anyone who've been in similar situation before ? Any tips / techniques that has helped you get around this ?

  1. 2

    It absolutely is Mental Fatigue if you use the same exact "mental muscles" during the day and then have to context switch at night. So you're having to surmount two things. 1 tiredness and 2 the need for "activation energy"

    Building is one part of "creating". There are a lot of ways to create without building.

    Curation is one
    Documentation is another

    Curate resources, Curate industry information and put it out as a newsletter. While I was building Influence Directory I ended up starting Influence Weekly a newsletter on the industry and that was way more interesting and made more money than the directory. This might sound like "competitor research" and it could be. But most of the time I just read for reading up on the industry. quick emails to others introducing myself and what I'm working on and how it ties in with their work, ended up creating a lot of great relationships. And the right set of google alerts means you never have to go on reddit/fb/twitter to distract you. Check your email. read, write a few words on the ones that you learn from. If you wish put it in an email you send each week.

    Document your journey.
    Documenting yourself, your business, your product, is an easy way to lower the activation energy. Instead of having to get into the flow by your own mental energy, you can document for an hour, or 5 minutes and pull yourself into flow.

    I know this sounds silly and "useless" but I found that just putting on a webcam (loom in my case) and talking about what I'm working on that day, helps me start working. 100% of these 5 ish minute videos don't get put out, but just sitting in front of a camera and talking focuses me. It lowers the activation energy I need to get started.

    1. 1

      novel idea, will check it out, thanks :)

  2. 1

    One trick that works for me is to work on my side projects before work.

    Usually I wake up at 5am. From 5am to 7am is breakfast, stretching, body weight exercises, shower. Then start work on side project until 9m.

    9am is the start of my day job. It ends at ~5pm.

    Then , take a break 1 hour, read a book, watch a TV series, then dinner, then work for 1.5 hours until 9pm.

    Bedtime is at 9:30pm.

    My most productive hours are in the morning, so usually at night I review/ tidy up what I have done in the morning.

    Obviously my lifestyle is possible because I have a remote job, don't need to commute and have a very accommodating spouse.

    As always YMMV

    1. 1

      3.5 hours per day apart from 9-5 job is very impressive .... how do you maintain the consistency ?

      1. 1

        The short answer is that it is tough.

        Some mornings I have to push myself to do it. I guess it all comes down to your motivations.

        I love my day job but do I want to spend the rest of my life making money for somebody else? The answer is no. I make good living. I have everything I want and need. Good health, good job, great spouse.

        Everything except one thing. Freedom. I suffer from the golden handcuffs syndrome.

        The only way to be free is to work for yourself IMHO.

        So To me there is a clear choice, either put in the time now while I am young to try to build a successful business to either sell it and retire early or keep it and have a passive income stream or do nothing.

        if I do nothing, i will have to work until I am 70 years old. If I create a successful business, i could be retired within the next 5 to 7 years.

        I don't blame people who want to come home, play video games, watch Netflix or spend time with friends and family. I do that sometimes too. But I have made my choice and I am committed to create a business.

        Life is a series of choices that we have to live with. Most of the time. I make my choices and I accept that I am responsible for the successes and failures that comes with said choices.

        On the days when I don't feel like working, i remind myself that I can stop anytime I want. There is no one telling me to do this.

        My final thought on this matter is to take some time to care for yourself, stretching, exercise, spending time with loved ones is important as well and I make sure I put some time aside for that everyday no matter what. In the long run it makes all the difference.

  3. 1

    Is there something you can commit to doing, or "creating," every day no matter what? Something small. Sustainability over ambition. After a month, or two, (or 20!) of such baby steps, who's to say how far you'll go, or what inspiration you might find.

    1. 1

      Hmmm interesting concept, when you talk about committing something small to do everyday, are you referring to some minimum time or some minimum unit of work ?

      1. 1

        That's up to you, but I recommend starting small. Could you do something every day, even 10 minutes a day? Sounds easy on paper. Sounds even easier when you're riding that initial wave of inspiration. But then Day 134 rolls around. It's 11:50pm, you're exhausted, and you haven't done the thing yet. This is the test.

        The point here is less about the unit of work, or even the work you're doing at all. What matters is that you're keeping your promise to yourself and cultivating discipline.

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