Television can be a major time suck. This is more true now than ever before.
Sure, people have been wasting away hours in front of the TV for decades, but today’s selection on the boob tube is like 1980s television on steroids. You can now choose from hundreds upon hundreds of different cable and satellite channels. Not to mention Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other on-demand programming that allows you to choose from thousands of movies, shows, news broadcasts, and sporting events at the click of a button.
So it should go without saying that you can save a lot of valuable time by ditching your TV. Doing this isn’t for everyone, but if you find that your life is being negatively affected by the presence of that 40-inch flat screen in your living room, you might want to consider getting rid of it. At the very least, canceling your cable, satellite, and/or Netflix subscription and using your TV exclusively for watching DVDs and Blu-rays could end up making you a more productive person with all the hours saved. Not to mention all the money you will save without that monthly bill.
But what would you do without that giant plasma screen glowing in front of your couch all hours of the day? How boring would life be without the company of SportsCenter, Big Bang Theory, Wife Swap, and reruns of Seinfeld? Well, it depends on the person, but most people should have no problem finding ways to better spend their time. Here are some suggestions.
Get a library card
It still blows my mind to this day that libraries exist. There aren’t very many entertainment options in the world that are absolutely free without any strings attached, but the library is an exception. With the interlibrary loan feature, your library should be able to lend you any book, DVD, CD, or magazine available to the public. And it costs you nothing! Have you always wanted to start reading more but just couldn’t find the time? Well, now that your television is out of the picture, you shouldn’t have any trouble setting aside a chunk of time every day to knock out a chunk of pages in that book you’ve always been meaning to read.
Start a workout routine
Many people neglect to exercise regularly because they “just don’t have the time”. If you’re one of those people, you might consider a daily workout to take the place of your former TV viewing time. What a great trade-off! Not only are you benefiting your mind by freeing it from that mindless drivel that was once such a big part of your life, but now you’re also getting your body into shape. You can work out at home if you have the necessary equipment, or you can get yourself a new gym membership with the money you’ll be saving from canceling the cable.
Experience the joy of cooking
Cooking can be very enjoyable, but most people tend to avoid it in favor of other, more convenient options like fast food restaurants and frozen meals. But if you’re looking for a way to fill the void left by your cancelled cable subscription, teaching yourself to become a better cook can provide many benefits. If done correctly, cooking can save you money when compared with eating out or buying pre-cooked meals. It’s also been known to relieve stress. Oh, and you’ll also be able to expand your culinary skills and eat a wider variety of foods, of which you’ll have complete control over.
Enjoy time with friends and family
Most people would agree that our friends and family should take precedence over anything else in life. The relationships we have with other people should be cherished and continually maintained. One thing that television is really good at is robbing us of precious hours that we could be spending with loved ones. Sure, you can watch TV with these people, but without that big shiny screen sitting in front of you, you’ll be able to have a more genuine bonding experience.
If it’s nice outside, get out there and enjoy it. Human beings weren’t meant to sit on a couch and stare at a screen for hours on end. Now that you’ve gotten rid of your television, take advantage of your freed up time and go for a walk, a run, a bike ride, or any other outdoor activity that you enjoy. Your physical and mental health will benefit. Your stress levels will drop. And you might discover that you have a passion for the outdoors that you never knew you had.
These are just a few ideas. Eliminating TV isn’t for everyone, but most of us could at least benefit by reducing the number of hours that we spend in front of it each week. Give it a try and see if you experience any positive changes in your life.