Mankind has produced more information in the past decade than in it has in the previous five thousand years? It’s both a blessing and curse for the creative process. Because on one hand, we have instant access to everything we could ever want to know about anything. And that can be a huge help in the work of bringing our ideas to form. On the other hand, the rate of technology has accelerated faster than our constitutions can handle, and frankly, we are grotesquely unprepared to cope with it. That’s why there are thousands of applications, platforms and communities expertly designed for note taking, organizing, clipping, managing, curating and archiving the world around us. Because we’re not only suffering from information overload, but inspiration overload as well. The only problem is, it’s a trap. If you spend all of your time collecting ideas to help you research how to enter the right mindset so you can prepare to sit down and hold a space to motivate yourself to create a plan so you can brainstorm about how to visualize the possibility of eventually getting started on doing the work, you haven’t actually done anything. You just confused getting inspired with making progress. That’s not productivity, that’s pornography.
SELECTIVE INDIFFERENCE — Being discerning enough not to dwell on meaningless matters, conserving your best energies for your creative efforts
The thirst for research, the obsession with consuming, the addiction of inhaling, the opiate of organizing, these activities, while seemingly productive, can quickly become expressions of procrastination and perfectionism. In excess, they don’t do anything to move the story forward. They merely paralyze the characters. Selective indifference is defined as being discerning enough not to dwell on meaningless matters, conserving your best energies for your creative efforts. It’s an information and energetic boundary. You save your heart and mind for only the important, not the urgent. You care like crazy when it counts and let the rest go, no matter how many pointless notifications you get on your device. If it helps, physically announce to yourself that you will be ignorant enough to not be distracted by what others are doing.
I often have to remind myself that we live in the time of information and inspiration overload, but also opinion overload. And nothing against free speech, but other people’s opinions are just noise. They’re helpful mostly in their ability to creating a secondary layer of worries around your creative process, and that’s it. Of course, that's just, like, uh, my opinion, man.
Let selective indifference can set your creativity free. Instead of arguing with the voice of distraction, you train yourself not to hear it. It’s not about being too cool to care, it’s about being discerning enough not to dwell. It’s about refusing to push your imagination out to make room for all the backwards, soul killing mental traps that keep you from bringing new life to what might be. Once you liberate your heart and mind from all that noise, and you’ll be amazed at how much time and energy you have leftover to redistribute to more meaningful efforts. What if distractions were only as powerful as your response to them?
Effectively cope with inspiration and information overload
Reduce your distractibility during the creative process
Increase the amount of time and energy you have for important projects
Lower your amount of stress and anxiety, regardless of what’s going on in the world