From Content Consumer to Creator

These blogposts will go on for some time. They are based on repurposing some of the content that I consume on a daily basis. I have been consuming content through audiobooks, youtube videos and podcasts. But this consumption has presented me with a unique problem. I have become a voracious consumer of content to the level of addiction. This is my first attempt at detoxing by sharing some of the great lessons that have made a lasting impression on my views. I have been writing notes using my favourite note-taking App, Roam Research. This application has helped me to link content that did not seem related previously. Right now, I have enough content saved, ready to repurpose and share.

Audiobooks

I have often wondered about the time I waste commuting to and from work or just shopping or visiting friends, especially when I am alone in the car. Music is great, but I have been listening to music for decades. It’s great entertainment, but I have reached a stage where I want more than just entertainment. I want to learn something new, and I think books are great for that. But I can’t read and drive. Instead, I can listen to audiobooks at more than the normal speed. Currently, I am able to listen at twice the normal speed without a problem. So I revisited Amazon’s Audible App and Apple’s iBooks App. I already had some books there, and I just started buying more books.

So far in 2021, I have read 30 books ranging from diet to stoicism. I have always had a copy of Plato’s Republic (which has ten books!) but never managed to finish reading it since my university days. In these dialogues, Socrates (or rather Plato) argues for a republic led by a philosopher-king. This time I managed to do so on Audible. Right now, I am listening to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr Stephen R. Covey. Stephen emphasizes the need to be proactive, to begin with, the end in mind, to put first things first, to think win-win in negotiations, to seek to understand others and also to be understood, to find synergies between your different skills sets and to practice good habits until they are second nature. It’s a really powerful book. Although I had heard about the book from several YouTubers, it was the recommendation by a participant from a Clubhouse room that finally convinced me to read it. I have read Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen and also Getting Things Done For Teens also by David Allen, which I have gifted to my teenage children. It comes with an accompanying PDF with easy-to-understand sketches. David Allen’s method is famously known as GTD.

YouTube Videos

I have watched many educational YouTube videos on science, health, fitness, business, technology, philosophy etc. One of the things I have started to do since subscribing to Roam Research is taking notes. I wish an application like this one had existed earlier but now is still a good time. I also wish I had started writing notes consistently on everything I have consumed, especially the book I have read since primary school. Roam is able to link the notes I take through Backlinks. I explain in more detail in my blog post-Enter Roam Research. Roam is a great way to build a Knowledge Management System or a Second Brain, as promoted by Tiago Forte. It’s also called the Zettelkasten System. Roam was founded by Conor White-Sullivan. I am using Roam to write these blog posts from the notes that I take on a daily basis in true Renaissance Man fashion, where I am not confined to one area of knowledge, but I can find linkages. This is information that I have learnt about through YouTube videos. There is so much great educational content on YouTube, but you will also find a tonne of entertainment. Although it is good to be entertained sometimes, it can become addictive unless you use it to learn how to entertain others. Educational content can also become a source of entertainment unless you start taking notes and repurposing the knowledge through blogging, podcasting, or making your own YouTube videos. I learnt a lot about COVID-19 from scientific experts on YouTube who read scientific papers and share what they have read. I can either read the scientific papers myself because I have a science background, or I can just watch these guys dissect the science.

Podcasts

For some time, I binge-listened to many podcasts on Apple Podcasts, including The GaryVee Audio Experience, The Joe Rogan Experience, the Fundamental Health with Paul Saladino, MD etc. I was hooked! The James Altucher Show and StarTalk Radio Show with Neil DeGrasse Tyson were the other podcasts that got me listening back to the first episode. The podcast style was different. It was conversational. I learnt a lot about Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin from podcasts like The Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network, the Bad Crypto Podcast and The Pomp Podcast. I should also single out The Tim Ferris Show, Making Sense with Sam Harris and Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner. There are many more podcasts, too many to mention in a single blog post! Roam will enable me to talk about all these in future blog posts. Podcasts replaced music as an entertainment option while driving. I was now switching between podcasts and audiobooks. But just like YouTube videos, I was running into the trap of consumption. It was difficult to drive and take notes until I discovered an application called Airr through a YouTube video by Nat Eliason. I imported my Apple Podcasts into Airr because it has the functionality to take notes on snippets of the conversation or presentation that I find useful and integrate with Readwise and Roam Research in audio or written form. Now for the first time, I could take notes from podcasts. That changed the whole game. Listening to podcasts is now worth the time. Besides, I can listen at twice the normal speed, but I can not read that fast—that application changed my life.

Conclusion

As I have stated in my introduction, these blogposts will go on for some time. I have started the process of repurposing the content that I have consumed over the years. In the past year, I have started taking notes for YouTube videos, podcasts and I am on the lookout for taking notes on the audiobooks that I listen to while driving. I want to consume less and produce more. Imagine if I could write more books than I have read, create more podcast episodes than I have listened to and upload more YouTube videos than I have watched? That would be very satisfying. I am currently fascinated by Clubhouse. I just need to figure out how I can avoid falling into the trap of listening to the experts and produce my own content instead. I will continue to use Roam Research for note-taking and writing blog posts. At least once a week!

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