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Why I Don’t Watch TV

I was never a huge TV watcher, I didn’t start watching Survivor until the 3rd season, it’s the only season I’ve seen.  I think I caught one season of American Idol and Amazing Race.  I don’t watch Game of Thrones, and missed all of Entourage.

Now this isn’t to say I’ve never watched TV.  My kitchen looks directly into the family room so I can “watch” the Blue Jays games while I’m cooking dinner.  My husband watches TV, and to spend some time with him we’re working through House of Cards together.  I’m on season 5 of Scandal (I think I have some catching up to do on that one).

I prefer to spend my time doing a number of other activities, even if they are activities in Q1 or Q3 is better than TV, but doing high-value Q2 work is optimal.  (not sure what I mean by Q1-Q3?  Read my post about Making Choices with Your Time here).  It may stem from my constant need to “produce” something tangible.  Watching TV for me takes away from time better spent on more fulfilling activities.

Most of the world’s successful people and CEO’s do not watch extended periods of TV; there are so many other activities to fascinate and feed their energy and passions.  According the Nielsen, the average American watches TV for just over 5 hours a day.  FIVE HOURS A DAY.  Think of what you can accomplish with 5 extra hours a day, or 150 hours a month!!

Services like Netflix makes TV viewing no longer the epic event that becomes water cooler fodder like it used to.  Nowadays, you can watch at your own pace, in your own time.  This blog post will give you some reasons to give up the habit, and some ways you can change your couch surfing into a more meaningful activity.

Why You Shouldn’t Watch TV:

  1. Need to feed your brain with other activities – TV knowledge is a pop culture, fleeting unproductive activity. Try substituting a few of your TV hours for a great non-fiction book, or a new hobby.
  2. Disrupts sleep patterns – the blue light emitted by your TV may be interfering with a good night’s sleep. Try to limit your TV watching to a few hours before you go to bed, or try reading a book after TV but before your head hits the pillow
  3. Burning limited calories – not an avid reader? Try going for a walk or exercising rather than consuming snack calories while watching the tube.
  4. Consuming too many calories – TV and snacking go hand-in-hand; by keeping your brain and hands busy with other activities, you’re less apt to reach for the bag of chips in your pantry.

When TV Can Become a Productive Activity:

  1. Schedule a viewing party – this is a great way to get in your TV viewing, and spend some quality time with your friends. Think Superbowl, or Bachelor Finale get-togethers.
  2. Documentaries – the impressions from these shows will last much longer than the ones made by St. Elsewhere or 3rd Rock From the Sun.
  3. Watching your favourite sports team – this is a tough one as many people would put this into the “wasted time” category. For me, watching my team energizes me and allows me to speak intelligently about my team in my circle of friends and family.

Regardless of your current TV viewing habits, take some time to carefully critique which shows you can live without, and which shows are “non-negotiable”.  Replacing even a few hours a week with other activities will increase your energy, give you better rest and feed your brain with nutritional activities.  Rather than mourn the loss of a show, celebrate the new beginnings of a great habit!


RELATED – Making choices with your time

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