I realized what bugged me about Manu’s idea of a the consumption-to-creation ratio – he has the units wrong.

It doesn’t matter if you read more blog posts than you write. It doesn’t matter if I listen to more music than I write. It doesn’t matter if I look at art more than I make it.

What matters is how I spend my time.

I probably spend around four hours a day consuming some form of media/content, whether reading the internet, watching television or movies, listening to music, or reading a book. At most, I’m underestimating and it’s maybe six hours of time.1 But I also spend at least five or six hours a week creating. Lately, a lot of that time is playing guitar– we’ve been meeting as a band about 2 hours a week, and I play for 20-30 minutes at least a few other days a week. I spend maybe an hour or two each week writing various blog posts.

So I think my real ratio is something like 6 or 7:1. By unit, I may be effectively 100:0, but I spend a pretty healthy chunk of my time creating.

I think it’s far more interesting to think about the ideal ratio of time spent consuming versus creating content. My current ratio feels pretty good, considering time and energy my job takes away from my creative mind. I suspect something like 9-10:1 feels pretty healthy. I think I’d really like to find a way to get closer to 5:1.

  1. Media consumption can involve multi-tasking– I do quite a lot while listening to music or listening to podcasts. I also fall prey to the “background noise”-style of television watching. ↩︎