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(2 minute read)

“People who kill time are themselves not alive.” –Amit Abraham

We have all heard it said, “Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.” What if I told you how to have 3 more hours every day than the average American?

“That would be amazing,” you’d say.

Well, it is quite simple. Here it goes:

Turn off the TV.

Yes, that’s right. Just turn off the TV and if you are an average American you have added 3 hours to each day of your life. That’s 21 hours a week. Yep, your math is correct; it is pretty close to having another whole day a week. How exciting is that?

But wait, there’s more!

As if gaining a whole day a week wasn’t good enough you will also:

  1. Lower your monthly bills. Cancel your Cable, Netflix or other paid TV subscription. Why not, since you won’t be watching it anyway? The average paid TV bill is now hovering around $100 a month. That’s $1200 a year. Just think what you could do with the extra cash.
  2. Eliminate future upgrade costs. Bigger screens, clearer screens, sound systems, and other TV gadgets. No bigger big screen for you. Wow, even more cash on hand.
  3. Live longer. U.S. News & World Report published 9 Ways Watching TV is Bad for Your Health. Detriments of cozying up on the couch for an evening of TV include weight gain, increased risk of diabetes, increase in aggression, and insomnia. Grabbing the remote is sounding more unattractive by the minute isn’t it?
  4. Think for yourself. What kind of power could you have over someone if you had their attention riveted on you for 3 hours a day? I would assert that nothing has that kind of influential power except for TV. What could you teach your kids if they gawked at you soaking in all you had to teach for 3 hours every day? Well, if your kids are watching TV you have given the media that power.“People are sheep. TV is the shepherd.” –Jess C. Scott Click To Tweet
  5. Save money by not buying things you don’t need. In 2013, there was an average of 15 minutes 38 seconds of commercial time per hour of television.[i] As I scientist, I question statistics, so maybe it isn’t exactly 38 seconds. Still, one thing is for sure, there are a ton of advertisements coming at you when watching TV. Turning off the TV is a great step toward stopping compulsive spending.
  6. Get to know your family. The average American family spends precious little time together. Worse yet, the few minutes spent are all too often in front of a screen of some sort. I cringe when I see articles refer to time spent watching a movie, sporting event or TV show as family together time. While these activities provide entertainment they do not substitute for togetherness. Just because your physical bodies are in the same room does not mean by default you are together in the true sense of the word. Being together means you interact and communicate. Not just about which quarterback is better or how good looking the main star of the show is but rather, you share ideas, hopes, desires, and the things that make you angry when you are together. Having another person show interest in these insights is priceless. There is no proxy togetherness.
  7. Be more active.  You might find new beneficial interests. You might learn something new. It might get super crazy and you learn to play again, get in shape, start living, and find something or someone you feel passionate about. After all, a lot can happen in 3 hours a day.

Life is short. Like a flash it is gone. Why not make it just a little longer yet far more meaningful by turning off the TV more often?

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Reference:

[i] http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-nielsen-advertising-study-20140510-story.html

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