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How I Saved 1000 Hours A Year By Just Quitting TV

How I Saved 1000 Hours A Year By Just Quitting TV

Who doesn’t like to sit in front of the TV, curl up in a comfy blanket, and eat loads of junk food? (Okay, maybe not the junk food part.)

It used to be my favorite pastime, it didn’t matter what I was watching — re-runs of Disney movies, random snippets of Friends, or the latest episode of Jimmy Fallon — I could sit there and binge watch all day on Netflix or HBO. The sound from the TV would often be my lullaby and rocked me to sleep on the couch.

Let’s do some simple maths here. Simple But Shocking.

Before I move on, let me throw you some “impressive” stats. Imagine if you sat in front of the TV 6 hours per day, after a year, you would have spent 2190 hours, which is 3 WHOLE MONTHS! Just think about it. 25% of your whole year has gone to watching TV, at times you weren’t even paying attention to what you were watching.

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So How I Know I Have A Problem?

As much as I don’t want to say I was addicted to TV, watching it for 4 hours straight every day was not a big deal for me. I used to watch TV for entertainment, but it slowly became habitual. I would even watch bad reality shows or movies when I knew I didn’t like them. To me, television was my leisure, my only leisure.

    Taking baby steps to the road of “recovery”.

    You only start to cherish when you don’t have much time left. I could say this epiphany kickstarted my journey of “Say No to TV”.

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    When I was studying abroad, I didn’t have a lot of friends at first. To combat my loneliness and homesickness, television was my only friend. As I flipped through the calendar month after month, I realized I didn’t have much time left before I flew back home. I shouldn’t rely on television as my own source of entertainment, but instead, do things that I couldn’t do back at home. When I was given such once in a lifetime opportunity, why not make the most out of it?

    So what should I do now?

    The beginning of a change is always the hardest, and to have a motivation, you need a goal. Because time was limited for me, I had different things I wanted to accomplish before I left. I wrote a list of all the things that I wanted to do, set their priorities, and fitted them into my schedule.

    Okay, I’m done.

    It isn’t enough to write a list, taking action is more important. It might be difficult to follow what’s planned, but there are still ways to carry out what I had written down. I stuck post-it notes on screens to remind myself the promises I made, canceled my Netflix account, and even tried not to stay in my room too much. Also, it’s always better to have a buddy to keep you accountable, or at least you have someone to support and make the change with you.

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    The struggle is real, y’all.

    One of the best methods of decreasing your dependence on something is to stay away from any possible contact. But it’s not as easy as it seems. Often when I held the remote control, it took so much courage to not press the start button because there were even voices in my head telling me to splurge just a little, just one episode. I had to pick up hobbies that either required laser focus or going outdoors to completely say away from the evil TV.

    So it seems like I was doing pretty well. I mean Awesome.

    Sometimes, when we make changes, our plans fall through midway, and we revert back to our old lifestyle. To avoid making a temporary change, develop interests in your changes is very important. If I treated exercising as a routine, I would get bored eventually. If I wasn’t interested in hand lettering and photography, I would have given up after I failed time after time.

    TV doesn’t seem as important to me anymore so goodbye old friend!

    As I went out more often to the gym or hiking trails, my body became healthier, and the woozy feeling that I had after watching TV was gone. The more I practiced hand lettering, the more patience I had. It led me back into art and design, after many years of artistic hibernation. I also gained friends from working out together, taking photos for each other, and art jamming.

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    Keep your eyes on the prize, or at least look at my prize!

    Have you successfully quit TV? You might ask. Yes indeed. I don’t watch TV 4 hours a day anymore, or maybe even not 4 hours a week. With those hours saved from not quitting TV, I have developed great interests, improved my health, and rediscovered my passion.

    It might be frightening to give up television completely, but it’s okay to have movie nights or binge-watch sessions every now and then as a reward. Always remind yourself the benefits you get from leaving your couch and quitting TV, and hopefully, the significant changes that it brings could be your motivation to treat yourself better.

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    Frank Yung

    Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

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    Last Updated on March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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