It’s been 30 days since I put out the challenge to not watch TV for a month. Speak up and share your experience.
Here’s what I found over 7 years ago when I stopped watching TV…
- More time – This is pretty simple. The average American adult watches 5 hours of TV per day. Convert some of that into work or starting a business to increase or replace your income. Convert some of it into personal enjoyment.
- Lower discretionary spending – I am susceptible to materialism. When I allow my brain to be bombarded with advertising, it creates a desire to buy things, and I act on it. Advertising continues to happen because it works. The fact that it works means that the more advertisements I see, the more things I will buy. This increases the amount of work I’ll have to do in my lifetime to support my lifestyle and proportionately decreases the amount of time I’ll spend doing things I enjoy.
- More productive mode – Watching TV is a non-productive activity. It requires no thinking and no physical activity. Getting into this mode makes it hard to get out. No TV means better mental and physical health.
- More sleep – Watching TV at night makes me stay awake for longer. I used to tell myself the TV helped me go to sleep, but a basic comparison taught me otherwise. Without TV, I’m always caught up on sleep.
- Better sleep – Going to sleep without noise actually makes me require less sleep.
- Did I mention more time? I have a clear set of goals for myself. When I have to decide whether or not to do a certain activity, I ask myself Will this move me towards my goals, away from my goals, or neither? Taking an away activity and turning it into a towards activity has a very powerful effect on how quickly I accomplish my goals.
What else do I do with my time?
In a work week, I work more than 40 hours. Sometimes I work a bit on the weekend. This may sound undesirable, but I truly enjoy most of my work.
The trade off is that I have less work weeks – I enjoy my life… now. Instead of deferring having fun (“retirement”) for another 20 years, I do it all the time. I take a 1 to 2 week vacation every 2 to 3 months. I don’t work less than the average worker, but I also don’t work much more. I take 5 times as many vacations simply through converting wasteful activities into personal enjoyment.
Would you stop watching TV altogether if it meant taking an extra 3 – 5 vacations per year?