Television Conundrum: How To Watch Less & Live More
We’re are an absolute sucker for facts and we stumbled across one the other day that kind of stunned us a little bit. Apparently, on average, we spend nine-years of our lives sat glued to that flatscreen box in the corner of our living rooms; the one that depicts real-life. That is quite, well, wow. That’s a lot of life to be losing out on and probably makes the family in Matilda a lot more accurate than we care to admit. It makes it a problem, and like any habit that requires kicking, it all starts with the whole acceptance thing and then the commitment thing.
You’ve gotta accept that two-and-a-half hours of TV a night is not the best way to spend your downtime and then commit to changing this. Of course, we’re not saying you need to stop watching Orange Is The New Black, just rein in your television-time a little bit. After all, nine years is a substantial chunk to be wasting.
So, without further ado, here are our top tips on how you can cut down your TV habit and start living more:
You Only Need One TV
The fewer televisions you have in your home the less likely you are to just sit there and stare. So cut down to just the one television and make that your TV room. Of course, we don’t want to encourage you to unleash your inner rock star and throw your bedroom tube out of the window. Instead, you should give your extra TVs to charity or donate them your local children’s hospital. Not only will vegging out with two cans of Pringles and the entire series of Ozark become harder to do, you could also get a little tax deduction as a result of your generous donation.
One Show, One Episode
Part of the problem is there is so much incredible TV on these days. Call it The Wire effect but there is an immense amount of epic television available on demand and that makes it hard to switch off the screen. As such, you should just stick to one. That’s it. One show and one episode a night. This will stop you from a) binge-watching and b) channel-surfing, both of which are like snares.
As Oscar Wilde famously said, “we can resist everything except temptation”, and that is exactly the battle you are going to face when you sit down to watch ‘your show’. You’ll watch one and then “accidentally” ignore the fifteen-second countdown before the next episode automatically plays and that will be it. To avoid this scenario happening, set a timer on your phone for exactly the length of your episode, turn the volume up and leave said phone in another room. Then, when it starts going berserk, turn off your TV before you go get your phone. Voila. No more binge-watching. If this doesn’t work, then instead of turning your TV off, rip the wires out of the back. That should do it.
No More Remote
It is amazing how much less TV you’ll watch if you have to get up and change the channel on your TiVo box. It is that simple.
Encourage Another Activity
A lot of the time, watching endless hours of TV is a habit will fall into because we don’t have anything else that entices us to relax. It becomes the default. That is why you need to be proactive and create this motivation. It could mean rearranging your furniture so that the TV is not the focal point. It could be you create a reading nook somewhere, something that can be done by checking out our featured beanbags, building a window seat below your bay window, securing a hanging chair to a ceiling somewhere or make a nest of cushions below your staircase. By having other places to go and crash out, put your feet up and relax, you will find you naturally start to question your routine a little bit more. You’ll finish tidying up after dinner and, instead of automatically heading to the TV sofa, you’ll think, “Hmm, what about a book, or reading those magazines, or doing a puzzle.” Options are good.
The Sun Is Out Rule
If the sun is out, then there is to be no television. It is a simple rule, but one that you should stick to no matter what excuses get flung into your ears or frontal lobe. This little trick works wonders because you’ll find yourself heading out the door and well out of the reach of TV’s enticing stare. Bike rides, exercising, walks through the park, heading to the gym, punting, kicking a ball around the garden, throwing a tennis ball at a wall. Whatever takes your fancy. It doesn’t even have to be all day. Just enforce the rule that, when the sun is out, everyone in your house has to enjoy at least an hour outside first. You’ll be amazed how often that hour will roll on and on.
Create An Evening Schedule
Another great way to say no to the siren calls of your television is to have other things you could be getting on with in the evenings. How often do you say there are not enough hours in the day only to spent three hours watching television. Instead, set out a list of one-hour projects you need to undertake. It could be organizing your kitchen cupboards, or reading thirty-pages of your book, or repainting the bedroom, sharpening your old knife set, organizing your emails, decorating mason jars, learning how to read hieroglyphics or anything. So long as it is not TV. Do this for every single evening. Get into the habit of trying to find something useful to do instead of just staring blankly at that episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S you’ve seen two and a half thousand times (probably the one where Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head). You’ll feel so much better for it.