Less Consumption, More Production

Less Consumption, More Production

I have a weakness that I need to improve upon. I need to improve upon it NOW. When I wake up in the morning and sit down to my computer I read Slashdot, Proggit, Hacker News, Techcrunch, Mashable, Little Things Matter, Signals vs Noise, The Simple Dollar, Seth Godin’s blog, and A VC. These are blogs/sites that are typically updated daily. I have a whole list of sites that I read that aren’t updated as frequently: Feld’s Thoughts, Steve Blank’s Blog, Quick Sprout, Derek Siver’s blog, Coding Horror, The Next Web, A Smart Bear, Illuminated Mind, and Silicon Prairie News. I probably spend at least two hours a day on these sites. This doesn’t include the time spent checking site analytics, browsing through Facebook, reading Tweets, etc. When it comes down to it, I love to read. Reading makes me feel like I’m in the “know.” Maybe, when I feel like I’m in the ‘know’, I feel like I’m in more control? I don’t know.

One thing is for sure, a lot of my time is spent on consumption. More time is spent than what’s necessary. As an entrepreneur my value is measured by production. My customers don’t care if I know what the ideal situations are for using NoSQL or a relational DB. They don’t care if I can recite Gary Vaynerchuk’s whole entire keynote including the small stories of his childhood in Belarus, They don’t care if I know who the CEO is of most of the companies featured in the social media. They care about what I can produce to improve their life. That’s what entrepreneurs do. They convert their time into products or services that will hopefully generate revenue.

I need to remember my priorities and produce accordingly. I need to remember my value as entrepreneur is measured by my output or production. I need to start to think about this in terms of a ratio of output hours to input hours. I’m not sure what the ideal number is, but I do know that it should be much greater than 1.0 every day… probably even greater than 3.0. Right now, most days I’m above 1.0, but… I know some days I’m not. I will call this my production number.*

I challenge myself to an experiment. For two weeks, I will only allow myself to view each one of the aforementioned sites once in a day. I will however be allowed to check Facebook/Twitter anytime during a downtime such as waiting in an office, riding in a car, etc. I don’t have much of a problem with them anyways. I will only be allowed to view sites in my RSS reader or ones that are linked from Slashdot, HN, or Proggit. For most people this doesn’t sound like much of a problem, but for me this should boost my production number… and that’s what is important. (Maybe I should track it too?)

Remember, as an entrepreneur, you need to stay sharp, but your value is measured in what you produce. What are your thoughts on this?

Follow me on Twitter @jprichardson

-JP Richardson

* Let’s assume that in a day I spend 1.5 hours consuming and 4 hours producing. My production number would then be 4/1.5 = 2.67

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