Turning Off the TV

Image of TV remoteWe recently had some serious water damage in the loft, and the repair process has required dismantling the electronics feeding the entertainment system. I was thinking about how to best reconfigure that system when I decided to hit the pause button. What would happen if I just tried turning off the TV for a few weeks?

Here are the 5 changes I can report so far:

I am a lot more organized.
I am reading more.
I am writing better.
I haven’t missed a workout.
I am having longer, more interesting, more engaging and more meaningful conversations with people I care about.

I think it’s important to share that I wasn’t too big on TV in the first place. I watch far less than the 34 hours per week the average American consumes. I’ve never actually seen an episode of American Idol, Dancing With The Stars or The Voice. However, I can easily get sucked into SportsCenter, Seinfeld reruns and CNN. I’ve always considered television a fine way to relax and wind down an evening, but the absence of it has forced me to acknowledge the upside of being a lot more selective about tuning in.

This little experiment probably wouldn’t have happened without the prompt of a good friend who hasn’t owned a television in seven years. Would you be surprised if I told you he:

  • Owns and runs a thriving/growing business.
  • Has traveled the world (50+ countries and counting).
  • Is in kick-ass shape.
  • Is one of the most centered people I know.
  • Is living the life he truly wants to be living.

Coincidence? Direct correlation? I can’t be sure but I was curious enough to give the “turning off the television” experiment a try. I can already notice a positive difference. I’m not ready to abandon television completely, but I will be watching a lot more mindfully.

Most New Year’s resolutions fail, and I believe the reason is often ineffective time management. Could turning off the TV give you a way to capture the time and energy you need to make the life improvement you want? What could you do with an extra 34 hours a week?

Merry Christmas!

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