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week without tv

I Survived a Week Without TV

I did it – I went a week without watching TV or DVDs or mindlessly watching videos on YouTube!

Kill Your TV by Gigi Ibrahim

Kill Your TV by Gigi Ibrahim

It was definitely a mind-opening experience. I didn’t have the ability to zone out in front of the boob tube or to use it as a distraction from other activities. It was weird getting used to the quiet. By the end of the week, I often turned on music or a podcast to fill the void.

I had been using TV and YouTube as background noise, but I didn’t realize what a time suck it has become. Before if I finished a task but a video only had 5 minutes left, I’d waste 5 minutes watching it. I also wasn’t aware of how much I used these vices as a way to avoid work. Without TV and videos, I was much more productive. One day I had my to-do list done by 3pm, way earlier than I’d normally be done.

So what did I do instead of watching TV?

  • Worked on 2 projects in my backyard garden – I don’t have a green thumb, but they needed to get done.
  • Relaxed in my pool at the end of the day.
  • Attended and sang at my friend’s birthday party.
  • Worked on setting up my home video studio.
  • Caught up on reading business periodicals and building my database of professional contacts.
  • Cleaned out my bathroom and sorted my photos as part of my year-long clean-out-your-life project.
  • Caught up on sleep – I realized I would watch TV when I’m tired instead of taking a nap or going to bed.
  • Attended networking events.
  • Read a book.
  • Played with my dog.

Throughout the day I get flashes of TV shows and movies that I’ve seen. I used to think that meant I wanted to watch them again. Now I see them as fleeting thoughts.

This week also reminded me of how much I suck at sitting still. TV was good for getting me to hold still for more than 20 minutes. This past week I probably didn’t keep still except of the times I was icing my sore shoulder. (I was walking my 60-pound dog and I tweaked it when, unbeknownst to me, she decided to stop.)

The only thing I’ve watched since the ban was lifted was a YouTube video of a soldier surprising her Mom – I’m a sucker for those. I think TV and YouTube will continue to not be part of my life unless there’s something I really want to watch. I have better things to do with my time.

If you want to hear more about my clean-out-your-life project and what I found when I cleaned out my bathroom, I made a video about it.

A Week Without TV

kill your tv by philentropist

kill your tv by philentropist

I love gymnastics. I watched all the artistic competitions this year during the Olympics. Part of NBC’s failure this year was they barely gave notice about which sport they would be showing next and how long we’d have to wait to see it. So, I spent hours sitting in my chair waiting for my beloved sport. I felt like I was wasting so much time sitting there.

I enjoy TV. I always have a handful of shows that I watch pretty consistently.  But my experience with the Olympics inspired me to see what would happen if I gave up TV for an entire week, starting yesterday. For 168 hours, I will not watch TV, DVDs, or any mindless programming on YouTube.

I often use TV or TV shows on YouTube as background noise. I like to watch it during lunch and at the end of the day to unwind. It will be weird to have to find something else to do during those times. I wonder if the quiet will make me uncomfortable or if I’ll substitute it with music or podcasts.

I have friends who don’t have TV or rarely watch it. I’ve wondered what they do instead. So what am I going to do instead? I have some ideas . . .

  • Attend networking events and community meetings
  • Read – I used to love reading, but reading for law school made me not want to read as much for pleasure
  • Work out
  • Get ahead on my blog posts
  • See my friends – especially those who took the July Bar Exam
  • Clean out my drawers – my plan this year is to get rid of things I don’t use or need
  • Create videos for my law firm
  • Gardening – The evenings are the best time to do this because it’s cooler and there are fewer bugs
  • Go to the movies – Going to the theatre seems ok since I have to leave the house to do it and it’s something I rarely do
  • Sing – It’s something I don’t do enough
  • Sleep – I think sometimes I watch TV when I’m tired when I’d be better off taking a nap or going to bed early

Of course I will have a countdown going to track how many hours I have to go. This will be a fun experiment. I’ll let you know how it went next week.

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