This past week we gave ourselves the challenge of not watching TV for 7 days straight in an effort to form better habits and be productive with our time. Ultimately it worked out really well and it wasn’t a big deal to not watch TV but there were certainly moments where it would have been nice to kick back and relax. We got over those pretty easily and had some fun memorable moments.
So what does watching TV have to do with saving or paying off debt? Well, besides the obvious of whatever costs are associated with TV it can be a real time sink. So often we say that ‘we are too busy’ to do a budget or sign up for a Roth IRA or 401K yet isn’t it funny how we still find time to complete that season of House of Cards or Project Runway? At the end of the day where are our priorities?
We decided to make this a challenge since we found ourselves getting in a rut. Every night we would make dinner, sit in front of the TV and then watch more than we wanted and then in turn not having enough time to do more productive tasks before falling asleep. Even worse, after both working all day we barely have even said anything to each other and still haven’t talked about the few things we said we’d discuss that night. The next day would follow the same cycle.
We realized TV was part of the problem and we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were in control and not it.
So what were the results? Well, during dinner we actually talked to each other. Some nights I got straight to work on difference tasks I wanted to do so I felt and was really productive. On nights where we needed to relax we played board games which was a lot of fun. We played Trivial Pursuit and answered many questions about Russia (or the Soviet Union) and seemingly random facts about old entertainers and movies way before our time. On Saturday morning when we usually watch Shark Tank we did miss that but we ended up going to the zoo (with our membership we received as a recent gift) for fun family time and exercise. All in all it was fun to finally do some of the stuff that we said we were too busy to do. Turns out we weren’t and that we just had our priorities mixed up which was why we needed to hit the reset button.
This doesn’t mean we won’t watch TV again as we did pick right back up with the latest Project Runway season but what is important to us is that it gave us more options for how we use our time.
TV / entertainment plays a critical role in our life and can be healthy but it can also take over and hold us back. If you find it taking over your life or even just getting in the way we would suggest cutting it out for a stretch and hitting the reset button.
We used to like Shark Tank too! The other wonderful benefit of giving up TV is that you no longer get persuaded into consumerism by the ads. The first Christmas we went with no TV was like a breath of fresh air, not having to see all those new cars with red bows people were purchasing (not). We still have Netflix though, and there are some time sinks there too. But we’re more careful about how much we view now.
Thanks for the comment Mrs. Groovy! Welcome to the blog! I find so frequently now that whenever someone asks if I have seen a commercial I haven’t which then makes it more difficult for them to tell their story about it. Hulu has an option where you pay a little more to get rid of the commercials but having both netflix and hulu seems like a bit of an luxury so we haven’t sprung for that yet. You can never fully get rid of every time sink but just being aware makes a big difference.