I use a four-step interrelated process for my creativity and productivity called the 4Cs. Although I am strong in the first two components of Consumption and Curation using certain digital tools, I still need to improve on the latter two to consistently deliver creative outputs.
Consumption involves the intake of multimedia content, including reading books and articles, watching videos, and listening to podcasts. I use several iOS apps for digital consumption, such as Podcast, Kindle, Libby, Reader and YouTube.
Curation is where I strategically select and identify what resonated with me from the diverse information consumed. These are the highlights from books and articles, as well as quotes and stories from podcasts and videos. The tool that I use to make this process easier, especially for digital text consumption is Readwise.
Contemplation involves reflecting on the curated ideas more deeply to understand why they resonated initially and how they connect to other diverse topics of interest. This is where I reverse engineer and remix the curated ideas to figure out their significance. Unfortunately, this is my weakest stage, as it’s much easier to consume than to contemplate. But without adequate contemplation, the quality and quantity of creative outputs are diminished.
“Make a habit of reflection cos without reflection we do not learn, we are just busy. It is how we become aware of our patterns, interactions and habits.“David Klob
Creation involves transforming the curated insights and highlights into new ideas and sharing them with others. My primary outlet for creative output is this website and my 2023 blogging goal is two posts per month.
In conclusion, it’s easy for contemplation and creation to feel like an afterthought. That’s why I’m making a conscious effort this year to be more deliberate about contemplating and establishing a routine for publishing and sharing my creative output.
I’d love to hear about the tools you use for one or more of these stages in the comments.