Television is such a time waster

When I was a kid, I remember my parents and I gathering around the television on Sunday evening to watch Disney. Boy that was exciting as a kid–Escape from Witch Mountain and Apple Dumpling Gang were two shows that I remember.

But, back then, we didn’t live in front of the television watching show after show. That’s how things are today.

Back in 1997 to 2002, I was stationed in Germany with the Air Force. We had very little channels–nothing like cable and dish here in the states. The big channel to watch was Sky out of England. Man those Brits have a odd sense of humor.

When I was over there, I found myself watching a lot of TV when I wasn’t doing something else…basically when I was home the box was on.

I never realized how much time I spent in front of that machine. I never realized what I was missing in Germany because of it.

When I moved back to the states in late 2002, I decided to stop watching most television. Eventually I stopped watching all television shows…I don’t even watch news. One might think its odd since we have six televisions in the house and we’re thinking about getting a seventh. But aside from big sporting events, the television stays mostly off.

That is, except for cable movies and Netflix movies. I do watch the television to watch movies…that’s pretty much the reason I even pay for satellite TV.

The thing is, I notice when the television is on, even for a movie, I get nothing constructive done.

When I stopped watching TV shows, I found I had all the extra time in my day (evenings mostly). This allowed me to go back to school, to read and write, and to travel. These things I wouldn’t do because there is always some show on that you have to watch to keep up with the story and to talk about it at work the next day.

Recently, I have watched a lot of the Olympics. For me, a lot is very little, but I have seen how less has gotten done around the house because of the TV being on.

Up until I moved all the furniture out of my office and started to remodel it, if I turned on the television while working on the computer, nothing got done on the computer. I am definitely more productive in my office without the TV on, even if it is a movie I’ve seen ten times.

Are you an avid television watcher? Do you have several shows that you have to catch every week that keep you in the house and in front of the box? When you sit down to dinner, is the TV taking over conversation?

If so, try this for a month…unplug.

That’s right, unplug the televisions in your home for one month. Just turn them off and pull the plugs from the wall.

Notice what your day is like…notice the free time you have without the television.

You will find it a challenge and you’ll probably be pretty darn bored, but this will be a good experience for you. I suggest that be prepared with a house project, like working in the yard or a dedicated hobby that you can fill the space with.

Let me know if you choose this challenge and how it goes.


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

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