Mar 27, 2009

Prioritize Your Life: Television

Prioritize Your Life: Television

I know that I'm going to be touching a third rail here, but I'm also doing it willingly, so it's all right. It's a pleasurable job to needle the common man. Just kidding! I've blogged about prioritizing your e-mail in the past, and I'm continuing the process of helping you "get a time refund" by pointing out habits that can be curbed or cut out altogether. Organization's straw man for today is television.

Television is great. I love television. But, at the same time, I'm not beholden to the television networks or their ploys to make me spend my time sitting down and being passively invested in their shows. Ouch. That comes off a little more aggro than I would like, but I swear I'm only making a point here. The more time you spend watching television, especially shows you've already seen (or seen multiple times), the less time you have to do other, more productive activities in life.

I get it. After a long day of work - or looking for work, in this economy - passive entertainment is hard to beat. We've all been there. Your brain is fried. Your body can't seem to get off the couch, even when commanded. All you want to do is sink into the couch.

But how about - and this is just a suggestion - you take a day off completely and focus on a goal you've made for yourself. Even if you only watch an hour of television a day, think of how much you can do for yourself once a week. You can repair that leaky faucet or take your dogs for a walk or (like me) work on that daunting novel.

Or, similarly, if you cut your time in half (or a quarter!), you can increase the happiness quotient on the old "things to do" list and get back some of that time that just seems to slip away. Instead of watching T.V. for an hour each day, you can cut out half of that time and devote it to reading a book or searching for a new job or paying bills, so that it won't be looming over your head, which always seems to distract me from fully enjoying a program anyway.

Especially in the age of the internet, you can make a certain time yours so that you don't feel like you're on the treadmill. If you have a must-watch show, is a great resource for you to "pick up" certain shows. If you have weekends free, that could be a time to actively catch up on television, and then, if you don't have a DVR, you can watch your shows mostly commercial-free.

Again, I'm no productivity expert, but these are tips I've learned that work for me. My hope is you find a system that works for you!

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