The first edition of this post launched in the early days of this blog. I am in the process of cleaning up my blog archives as I finalize the transition to Travel & Lifestyle blogging. This idea of create before you consume resonated with me so much back then that I decided to dedicate a blog post to it. I think it is something that I need to keep front and center and my fellow creatives should consider incorportating  in their creative process. This is why it is the feature post of the new series on Portland | Grace - A note to creatives.

In this series, I will be sharing my tips , experiences (good, bad and ugly) as I navigate this creative journey, curate this blog and launch a business. I also have a full time job, so I will chronicle the challenges of juggling a full time job with the creative process and how I manage to keep it all going. I hope this series helps you avoid my pitfalls or learn something that makes your creative process less stressful. Let me know what you think of this series and your thoughts on this idea of "creating before consuming." Here goes ...

Until recently, even before I am fully awake, my hand is reaching for the phone and instinctively opening up my bloglovin app, instagram app or youtube to scroll through pictures, videos and post by other creatives. Before I know it, I am an hour (hour and a half) into my day and have not done anything that moves me, my creative process or my day forward.  

I stumbled on this post and video by Marie Forleo a little while ago. In it, she talks about a C to C ratio (aka create to consume ratio). Essentially are you taking in more information than you are creating ? That got my attention. I (we) spend most of our time consuming before we create. - whether you are reading a news article or scrolling through your instagram feed - precious parts of our day are spent on things that don't move us or propel towards our goals. 

I chose to look at creating from the perspective of getting through my to-do list  for the blog, soon to launch business, day job and life. Is there anything I can check off one of those lists before I start consuming the work of others. Can I sort out clothes for laundry or edit photographs for the upcoming Portland | Grace fine art print collection ?  Maybe I can pack my lunch for the day or write (edit) a blog post before delving into the work of others. It does not have to be anything major like writing a vision for you life, but the little things that move you forward, the day to day tasks that are essential. 

I try to plan one or two things from my list to accomplish in the time I usually scroll through Instagram feed or watch youtube videos or read other blogs. I get to those things first before I allow myself to catch up on what others are doing and accomplishing. It has been a major productivity boost because I typically don't stop at just the one (or two) planned task. Once I get started then one or two other things get done. That hour and a half before getting ready for work has become one of the most productive part of my day. 

I still have those morning when I reach for the phone and consume before creating,but those are few and far between. I am reminding myself to create (get a task accomplished, check something off my to-do list) before I reach for the instagram / bloglovin / youtube feed. In 2016, I want to challenge you and continue to challenge myself to accomplish and create something before consuming - make your to do list and plan to check something on it before you go to blogs , facebook or instagram feed (or whatever you consume before you create).