Scott Belsky studies exceptionally productive people and teams in the creative world. He is the Founder and CEO of Behance, oversees The 99% think tank, and is the author of Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming The Obstacles Between Vision & Reality (Portfolio, April 2010).

Those of us who are social media-savvy suffer from a burgeoning problem that constantly threatens our ingenuity. If we fail to acknowledge and solve this problem, our brilliant ideas may may never see the light of day.

Every single minute, more “stuff” is being sent your way. E-mails, text messages, voice mails, instant messages, Twitter messages, Facebook posts… and the list goes on. The proliferation of mobile devices only increases the flow.

What do you do with this deluge? You simply try to stay afloat. You peck away at the latest communications at the top of your many inboxes. And since the flow of information never ends, you risk slipping into a life of what I have come to call “reactionary workflow.”

For those of us with great ideas and bold goals for the future, reactionary workflow is a big problem. If we spend all day reacting to the incoming barrage of communication, we will fail to be proactive with our energy. Our long-term aspirations suffer as a result.

For the past five years, I’ve been interviewing super-productive leaders and teams — people at companies like Google, IDEO, and Disney, and individuals like author Chris Anderson and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. I’ve never asked them how they come up with ideas. I’m not interested. My fascination is how they make their ideas happen, time and time again.

Many of the people I met have developed ways to combat reactionary workflow. Here are a few tips on how they do it.

1. Create Windows of Non-Stimulation

Once you open the door to communications overload, you could spend all day reacting to what’s thrown at you. Piers Fawkes, founder and editor of the marketing consultancy PSFK, reserves a good chunk of his morning –- from 7 to 10 a.m. every day -– to do research and digest the day’s trends and news prior to going through his e-mail. Proactively blocking out time for creating and absorbing, rather than just responding, is a key tactic of productive creatives.

2. Keep Two Lists