The human mind has three modes.
INPUT, OUTPUT, and SLEEP.
Those are the options.
Who the hell knows what’s going on in your mind when you’re asleep, so for now, we won’t tackle that topic. Let’s just assume that you’re in SLEEP mode for 30 percent of your life.
The mode you choose for the remaining 70% percent of your time will directly impact how productive you become in every aspect of life. Your ability to create, both personally and professionally, will depend in large part on how you divvy up the rest of your conscious life. The health and well-being of all your relationships might also depend on how much time you spend in INPUT mode compared to the amount of time you spend in OUTPUT mode.
Input is when one or all of your senses are being stimulated and your attention is completely devoted to the source of that stimulation – i.e. your smartphone.
Output is when you’re thinking. It’s when you’re creating. It is when you are solving problems that have nothing to do with the electronic sources of entertainment that pillage your time.
Coming Out of Quarantine
If you’re returning to work, or to some semblance of a normal work environment, you might require a recalibration of your INPUT/OUTPUT settings.
Think about it…
Did you become more addicted or less addicted to your smartphone during quarantine? Did your average screen time increase by 2 hours per day since March? Three hours? More?
Ninety-five percent of the human population is locked into INPUT mode for 92 percent of their conscious lives. You’re on INPUT when you’re watching TV; Or when you’re playing a video game; Or when you’re scrolling through your phone. Either way, you’re offering up all of your time and all of your attention, free of charge, to something that will blend into a day that’s not worth remembering. It’s wasteful.
** Reminder: 72% of all statistics are made up on the spot, but our instincts are pretty reliable.
Very few people are amazing at making the best use of their time, especially with so many distractions specifically designed to steal your attention. We’re all in a constant battle with distractions. The highest achievers are the individuals that spend the most amount of time set to OUTPUT, but even a 35%/35% split is respectable in this day and age.
Toss aside the devices. Block time for tasks. Block time for conversations. Block time for ideas. Block time to think. List your problems. List your goals. Write down your questions. Write down your answers. For so many, it’s that simple. Don’t let the machines keep you down!