We’re watching way too much TV at the expense of living our own lives and pursing our goals and dreams. According to a recent Neilson report, American adults spend over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media. Overall video use netted out to nearly six hours per day for U.S. adults when accounting for all the time spent with a TV set, computer video and using video focused app/web on smartphones and tablets.
If you’re tuning out to someone else’s show, how can you craft and live your own play? The simple answer is that you can’t. Here are 5 practical ways to cut down on your TV time and reclaim the life you were meant to live.
#1 – Limit Your Hours or Minutes
While some people can unplug their TV sets and throw them out the window for good, not everyone is that gung ho. A growing number of parents limit the hours they allow their children to watch TV. It might be a great idea to take a page from their parenting book and do the same thing for yourself. What’s a good number to set? That depends. How much of your life do you spend on a screen versus working on your dreams and having fun? Start there and cut back until you’re pursuing your life and having fun more than you are vegetating before a screen.
#2 – Set a Cutoff Time
Another useful way to cut down your TV and video watching is to have a cut off time. Maybe that’s 9 pm. Consider it a curfew and stick to it so that you spend the time after that in more meaningful and productive ways.
#3 – Don’t Watch TV During Meals
Meals are a great way to connect with our family and friends. Even if you eat alone, eating without the distraction of video and other media can be a great way to focus on nutrition and have an uninterrupted moment of peace and quiet in an otherwise busy life. Resist the urge to watch YouTube or switch on your TV. Just eat and enjoy the experience with those around you or relax in some needed solitude.
#4 – Have Only One Basic Subscription
These days people have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and now Disney+ accounts. That’s on top of a typical cable package and who knows how many other minor subscriptions.
If you’re counting subscriptions across both hands, you have way too many. Cut down to one basic subscription to meet your viewing needs. If that stresses you out to consider, do like I do and save certain programs for watching with friends at their house.
#5 – Have Only a Handful of Shows
Another trick to cut down your TV and video watching is to cull your shows to a handful. If you’ve got multiple shows you can’t miss each night, you have a TV problem. Your personal life shouldn’t be dictated by airing schedules. Otherwise you’re watching other people’s made up lives, getting emotionally invested in make believe situations, and ignoring and missing out on your own adventures and dreams.
Watching Our Own Reality Show
Your favorite show should be the one you’re living. At over 11 hours per adult, video and media are taking up nearly half of every 24 hours. Video alone makes up nearly 6 hours of our day. That’s insane. We’re missing out on our own lives to watch news, sports and entertainment that has nothing to do with us and rarely offers us any help in pursing our own goals and dreams. To start taking back your life and find the time to live it fully, start cutting down on TV by:
- Limiting the number of hours or minutes watched
- Setting a cutoff time each day
- Not watching TV during meals
- Having only one basic subscription
- Having only a set number of shows
Do this and you’ll find you have more free time to pursue your own interests and start living the life you always wanted for yourself. TV won’t give you that. Ever. Put these methods into place. A fuller life and increased happiness will start to flourish as a result.
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