Well it has been about 6 months now since I did the unthinkable and tossed my TV out of the living room. I have been living without a TV for a while now and I can honestly say I don’t plan on getting one anytime soon. While it was a pretty extreme measure the benefits are huge and I wish more people would do the same.
I have decided to share some of my observation over the past 6 month by putting together a list of the top 5 benefits of not having a television.
1. Having Too Much Time?
I know this may seem weird but when I first tossed out the TV there were times I didn’t know what to do with myself because I had so much more free time. I remember looking at the clock and thinking “wow” it’s only 8:00 PM when it felt much later. At times I was actually pretty bored but slowly I found things (productive) to do like do like cooking, chores, reading, listening to audio books and going to the gym.
I will add one potential downside to having more free time is I started to do more online shopping. This is good and bad but I started to buy all kinds of things. I even ended up trying to eliminate my trips to Walmart by shopping at Drugstore.com using their $10 Drugstore.com coupons.
2. The Energy Tank is Full
Now why would I have more energy from not having a TV in my living room. Well, what ending up happening for me was I started to sleep earlier. This is because what used to end up happening when I did have a TV was I used to watch a TV show and tell myself I’ll go to sleep after the show, but as soon as that show was over I ended up finding another show I wanted to watch and tell myself the same thing. This would easily keep me up an extra hour or more.
So I get more sleep and feel much better in the mornings and throughout the day. Really it is pretty simple if you get enough sleep you will be running at optimum levels physically and mentally. So if you are the type of person that is always reaching for the cup of coffee mid-day you may benefit from this. You will be surprised to know what kind of chain effect an extra hour of sleep will do to your mood, energy and stress levels.
3. Holy Crap, I Lost Weight
One of the things that I did with all the free time that I had especially on the weekends was to get more active by going to the gym, playing sports or going to the beach for a swim. I will say I probably didn’t need to loose a lot of weight though primarily because I am not overweight. In fact most people would probably say I could gain a few pounds but it has made me live a more active lifestyle.
Another thing I noticed was that I ended up snacking a lot less. These days I hardly even snack at all. I think when I used to watched TV I also tended to reach for a bag of chips or cookies. This was a bad habit and by not sitting on the couch in front of the boob tube I was able to crack that habit really quickly.
Now when I do buy snacks like chips it ends up getting stale because I don’t even finish it. Snacking while watching TV I think also causes you to overeat many times because your so focused on the TV show a lot of times that you may not know how much your actually eating. Imagine how much less Doritos and OREOs would sell if everyone stopped watching TV.
4. Living On My Time
For me this is probably one of the best benefits. When I had a TV I used to schedule my time around a favorite show or tell myself I’ll do this or that after a TV show. Now days I live on my time and am not shackled by the TV shows schedule.
You must be thinking doesn’t a Tivo or DVR do that. Sorry, but I think Tivo works in theory but not in practice. I had a DVR and guess what? I ended up watching more TV not less. For some people DVR may work but for the overwhelming majority I believe it means information overload.
5. My Brain is on Fire
Over the past 6 months I have been able to read many enlightening books. One of them I highly recommend is Getting Things Done by David Allen. How I see the world 6 month ago has change dramatically because of all the learning and thinking I was able to do with my extra time and believe me this bozo needs all help he can get.
Seriously though, if you ever wanted to learn a language or do a certain hobby then toss the TV and make those dreams a reality. Think of all the thing you always wanted to do and replace the time your spend watching TV till you reach your goal. Right now I am learning how to speak Japanese though audio lesson and Rosetta Stone software. I always wanted to do it but now I am actually doing it.
Some things that I do miss about having a Television.
- ESPN Sportscenter – I love watching sports, even though I am able to keep up with the scores and watch highlights over the Internet I don’t get the full coverage like Sportcenter.
- Local News – While I do listen to the 5 o’clock and 10 o’clock local news again not being able to actually see certain stories do lose some of its effectiveness.
- Pop Culture – When talking with friends or family I sometimes am left out of the loop because I have missed American Idol or 24 but really it is not a big deal.
I Challenge You!I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe even inspired or enlightened you on the potential benefits of tossing the TV. I’m sure there are much more benefits especially if you have kids. So if you decide to take the plunge let me know how it goes. Good luck and here’s to never having to watch an infomercial for that dam Ron Popeil Rotisserie Oven again!