Advertising
Advertising

Turn Off The TV And Do These 6 Productive Things

Turn Off The TV And Do These 6 Productive Things

According to a recent report, the average adult American spends more than five hours watching television every single day. That equates to roughly 35 hours per week. In other words, you’re probably spending almost as much time watching TV as you are working.

What if you were able to cut back on your TV habits and instead do something productive with this time? Well, give the following hacks a try and you’ll see just how much more productive you can be on a daily basis.

Advertising

1. Read a Book

5951685233_ac3d818db3_b
    (Photo by Moyan Brenn)

    Reading is something most of us enjoy, yet we never seem to get around to picking a book up off the shelf. Well, imagine how many books you could read if you spent a couple hours reading each night. You could probably go through three or four books a month. Not only is reading better for your mind, but it also provides you with valuable information and insights into different topics, which makes you a more interesting and well-rounded person.

    2. Cook a Healthy Meal

    17065409740_7785e71072_k
      (Photo by Moyan Brenn)

      TV watching and unhealthy eating go hand-in-hand. When people are camped out on the couch, they don’t have time to cook. Therefore, they rely on frozen dinners and fast food. In fact, you could argue that the entire concept of pre-packaged foods – once called TV dinners – is designed around nighttime television watching. By cutting out the TV, you can spend more time cooking healthy meals. Not only will this allow you to learn new cooking skills, but it will also lead to a healthier life. If you have a partner or children, you can enlist them to help you in the kitchen, creating a good teaching and bonding opportunity that you would have otherwise missed.

      Advertising

      3. Get Some Exercise

      IMG_0030
        (Photo by markeybo<./a>)

        Now that you’ve got healthy eating down, you can adopt an exercise regimen to lose those excess pounds and get in shape. Take a run after work, lift weights at the gym, or take a yoga class. In the same amount of time it would take you to watch an episode of Law and Order, you can finish an excellent calorie-burning workout. Not bad, eh?

        4. Take an Online Course

        4531450196_6f7818583f_b
          (Photo by Jinho Jung)

          With an extra 30-35 hours in your weekly schedule, you could sign up for an online course and learn a new skill, obtain a new certification, or potentially earn a new degree. There are thousands of online learning opportunities and your time will be much better spent in front of the computer than the TV.

          Advertising

          5. Get a Head Start on Work

          office-notes-notepad-entrepreneur-38556
            (Photo from Pexels)

            Are you stressed when you show up to work in the morning? Do you find it difficult to head home at a decent hour? Well, you can make the following day much easier by getting a head start the night before. Knock out menial tasks while at home and you’ll find that you’re able to accomplish important things when you’re in the office.

            6. Get a New Hobby

            6744887213_95e0692a19_b
              (Photo by Jenn)

              Finally, why not get a new hobby? Whether it’s writing, drawing, gardening, playing guitar, flying planes, or anything in between, a few extra hours a week should be plenty of time to try something new. You might even make some new friends in the process!

              Advertising

              What are you waiting for?

              7717799328_ab84377d8b_k
                (Photo by Dennis Skley)

                Nobody is saying that TV is evil. We all have our favorite shows and channels and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, the simple fact of the matter is that the average American adult is spending way too much time watching TV.

                By reducing the amount of time you spend mindlessly watching shows and using this time to do productive things, your life can become much happier and healthier.

                Featured photo credit: Tracy Thomas via unsplash.com

                More by this author

                Anna Johansson

                Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

                20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020 10 Uplifting Positive Affirmation Apps That Help You Re-Center on the Go hourglass as time is wasting 15 Ways You Are Wasting Time During the Day (And How to Stop) When You Have These Recipes, You No Longer Need to Suppress Your Appetite for Dessert. itchy skin 4 Natural Ways to Soothe Your Itchy Skin

                Trending in Productivity

                1 How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology) 2 How to Change Habits When You Feel Stuck in a Rut 3 Need Journal Inspiration? 15 Journal Ideas to Kickstart 4 How to Stay Consistent and Realize Your Dreams 5 How to Take Notes: 3 Effective Note-Taking Techniques

                Read Next

                Advertising
                Advertising
                Advertising

                Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

                How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

                Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

                However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

                Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

                Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

                Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

                In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

                What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

                To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

                The Biology

                Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

                Advertising

                Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

                The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

                A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

                Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

                So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

                Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

                Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

                Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

                Advertising

                Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

                The Psychology

                Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

                Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

                Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

                Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

                What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

                Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

                Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

                1. Identify Your Habits

                As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

                Advertising

                2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

                Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

                It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

                3. Apply Logic

                You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

                Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

                4. Choose an Alternative

                As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

                Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

                5. Remove Triggers

                Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

                Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

                Advertising

                6. Visualize Change

                Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

                For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

                7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

                Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

                Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

                Final Thoughts

                Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

                Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

                More About Changing Habits

                Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

                Reference

                Read Next