Rob says that the single most important question in your career should be “Are you a producer or a consumer“.
“But if you realize that one of the pleasures in your life is to read
about code/startups/entrepreneurs/music, then embrace that you are a
consumer. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake is not bad as long as you
realize that you are not working towards an end beyond your own
edification, which again, is not a bad thing.
Likewise, if you’re someone who has an unquenchable desire to produce something,
then stop reading about other people, and start doing it yourself.
Seriously, don’t read another blog post, tweet, or issue of Fast
Company until you’ve made a visible move towards that goal you so
desperately want, but think that reading and dreaming about will
somehow make it come true. Once you’ve made that single action towards
advancing your idea, you can come back and read a few more posts.”
I think its not a simple “either you are a producer or a consumer” discussion. Most people are more of one than the other, but being a producer requires more commitment to consuming for sure. Most producers cannot consume in a vacuum and the ability to consume what’s relevant is important.
Personally I have reduced my consumption primarily because I have too many “useless” interests. I am thrilled I found this out and am taking a proactive step towards reducing my “junk reading” purely for the sake of spending time on reading. It makes you more “learned” but its a big time commitment.