Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Caution: Time sink ahead

When I was working, my TV viewing used to average well under one hour per day (I think). An occasional sitcom (The Office or The Apprentice), 30-minutes of BBC World News, and a few PBS travel shows (Rick Steves' Europe, GlobeTrekker) now and then. There were also many days when we wouldn’t turn on the TV at all. And I was very diligent about turning off the TV so that I could make time for books.

Now that I don’t have to go to work, I am seeing a steady increase in my TV viewing. It is so easy to give in when there is the illusion that there’s plenty of time. There are always interesting (and interesting-sounding) TV shows on. The trick (for me) is in not even turning on the TV so that I don’t fritter away my time instead of using it for all the things I was hoping to do if only I had more time.

A quick web search reveals that this fact is well known and studied: There is increased TV viewing in the retirement community. When you stop working, keep this in mind and keep from reaching for the remote.

1 comment:

Arvind said...

myI realized that laziness is the only force withing me that is more powerful than my craving for entertainment. So, pulled out the TV plug from the power outlet, for while. I stopped watching TV because I was too lazy to walk all the way and plug it in. Two negatives can make a positive.

Similarly, if a book is closer than the remote, I choose the book. Its a good idea in general to not fight any strong craving or temptation. It is best to replace the temptation with another one. In my case, laziness trumps the need for entertainment.