When is the best time to start producing?

11/28/2020

Sometimes I get this strange feeling that I’m consuming too much information. Too much media in the form of something like YouTube videos or podcasts. Even books. I start to feel unproductive because I’m not producing anything of my own. Then I sit down and start working on something. I get the idea for a new website design or I finally make an effort to turn my app idea into a reality. But after a few minutes or hours or days I find out I’m missing some piece.

“Oh no, I don’t know enough about typography to make a good blog post layout!”

Sometimes this is nonsense but other times it’s a legitimate concern: I can’t make a fully functional and complex web app if I don’t know much about JavaScript (sure, maybe eventually it’ll happen but it won’t be fun or efficient). So I dig into another book or course or video. The cycle repeats. I consume information that makes me want to make things and when I try to make things I decide I need to consume more.

When is the best time to produce? Maybe now, maybe never. I think my problem stems from what I consume and how much of it rather than whether or not I consume at all. I say this because my diet of information is extremely varied. One day I’ll be reading a book on physics and the next I’ll move on to one about typography. A course on JavaScript leads me to the rabbit hole of relational databases. I don’t say this to sound smart. If I were actually smart, I’d know a lot about physics, typography, JavaScript, and relational databases. But I don’t. I know a little about all of them.

So, when is the best time to produce? For me, it seems to be be after I actually consume enough on a specific subject to be able to produce something meaningful about it.