No, I don’t watch TV at all. Never seen a single episode of Lost, Game of Thrones or Prison Break. Don’t watch the news, sports or any show either. Instead, I allocate my time on productive occupations. That’s how I find the time to write books or keep up with the bands I participate.
I would like to openly evaluate my last year to demonstrate how this works for me.
According to multiple studies, an average adult spends 4 hours per day watching TV. I will cut this in half so that most readers can relate to an average rate of 2 hours per day.
When you sum it up; this makes ~14 hours per week, ~56 hours per month and ~730 hours per year. Assuming that an average work day is 8 hours long, it means that an adult spends ~90 workdays on TV.
This is a lot of time.
People have different preferences. You might be spending much less time on series; but you might be spending time on video games, newspapers, trivial social events, etc instead. Therefore, I would like to generalize the abbreviation “TV” as “Time Vampires“.
Spending TV time on productive occupations is my secret.
If you check my Website; you’ll find that I’m a software architect, a writer, an active musician and a yogi simultaneously. People often ask me how I manage to run those occupations in parallel. Well, time management and discipline is an obvious answer. However; before managing time, you need to have some free time in the first place.
Avoiding TV (time vampires) altogether is how I find free time.
This leaves me 90 workdays (about 4 months on the job) to do whatever I want. This is more than enough to write, practice songs and do some yoga.
A Year Without TV
For instance; my SAP Press book on ABAP Design Patters took me one year to finish. And it is around 400 pages. This means that I wrote ~1 page every day for an entire year. Assuming that a page would take me an hour to complete, I can safely say that I published a book instead consuming the time I saved from TV. A profitable exchange, right?
730 annual hours – 400 hours spent on the book left me with 330 hours. Assuming that I practice bass guitar for 30 minutes every day in average, I have spent 180 hours practicing music. This means that; avoiding TV has also enabled me to play gigs.
This still left me 150 hours of free time. Assuming that I do 30 minutes of yoga every other day, it means that I have spent 90 hours on yoga. This still leaves 60 hours of free time. I have probably spent this time on movies, YouTube or video games. But those are not habits. Exceptions don’t define you, but habits do.
The only significant downside of TV avoidance is; I don’t understand some references and jokes among my peers. Well, I can live with that – I’d rather have another published book + my gigs under my belt.
Being aware of time vampires in your life is an important first step of taking control of the way you live. Video games, newspapers, magazines, trivial social events, social media might be TVs that affect you.
Once you start saving free time, you can start doing time management to achieve your goals over time. I have published a Turkish speech on time management which might guide Turkish speaking readers. Others might be interested in researching methods like GTD and Pomodoro.