You watch much TV? Does it make you happier? Richer? Healthier?
Me? I watch about 1-3 hours of television a week, nearly all of it commercial-free streaming Netflix and other services, shows and movies that I choose carefully and watch exactly when I want. I haven’t paid for commercial TV since 2006.
Time Management: What I Do With Those Extra Hours
Let’s assume the typical case of an adult who primarily watches TV in the evening after work. Instead of watching the tube, here’s what I do with most of my evenings:
- Head outside and do tai chi and watch the world
- Do strength training at the YMCA
- Go for walks around Ashland, Oregon with my life partner Stephanie
- Sit with Stephanie on the couch and talk while we rub each other’s feet, or just sit and read
- Have friends over for dinner
- Go to bed earlier so I can get up earlier and get going on all the things that are truly important to me, from freelance writing to hiking.
How I Benefit by Watching So Little TV
You see it in the list above…
- I spend more time with Stephanie, so we have a deeper and more satisfying relationship.
- I spend more time outside, so I have a calmer mind.
- I spend more time exercising, so I’m healthier.
- I read more, so I learn more.
- I get more sleep, and my sleep is more restful.
Overall, I have more time for everything, including my freelance writing and everything else that’s important to my health and happiness.
I Do Watch Some TV…
I watch a mix of educational programing, travel shows, a bit of drama, and a lot of comedy. TV helps me learn, but it also helps me unwind and relax, and sometimes we all can use some mindless entertainment.
Some of the shows I’ve watched over the last year:
- BBC Earth series
- BBC/HBO Rome series
- The Office
- House of Cards
- Family Guy
- West Wing
How much time do you spend watching television? How does it affect your time management and productivity? How does it benefit you? Harm you? What do you watch?