post written by: Marc Chernoff
40 Positive Effects of a TV Free Week
“What could you accomplish if you stopped watching TV? What would you do with all the extra time?” My wife asked me these questions two weeks ago. After a short discussion, we decided to find out for ourselves. We completely eliminated television from our lives last week. It turned out to be an incredibly rewarding experience. We now have a plan to drastically reduce our future viewing habits.
Here are 40 positive effects from our week without television.
- Wrote 4 blog posts. – I usually only have time to write 2 articles a week.
- Made it to the gym 5 times. – I went Monday through Friday for about 45 minutes, hitting every major muscle group.
- Increased household communication. – TV kills the flow of household communication. We both noticed that we had a lot more time to talk.
- Read a novel cover to cover. – I read the short novel “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse. It’s a powerful story about the importance of life experiences as they relate to approaching an understanding of reality and attaining enlightenment. I highly recommend it.
- Caught up on current events twice as fast. – I typically waste a good hour everyday watching CNN. This week I grabbed my news off the web. It took me significantly less time to scan CNN.com.
- Enhanced focus on everything. – TV is a huge distraction, even when you hear it from the other room. It’s so much easier to concentrate when you don’t have a TV yapping at you. I had no idea how much if affected my ability to concentrate until it was gone.
- Learned a few new skills. – I took my own advice and learned how to change the oil in my truck… pretty darn easy.
- Spent more time with friends and family. – We invited Angel’s sister and some friends over for a mid-week dinner party.
- Cleaned the house. – Something Angel and I habitually evade by watching TV instead.
- Learned new recipes and prepared 5 home cooked meals. – We cooked large portions so we could have leftovers for lunch every day.
- Spent more time enjoying simple pleasures. – Deep conversations, long walks, telling jokes, etc.
- Finally trimmed the hedges in our front yard. – I always put this off because I am tired after mowing the lawn. This time, however, I did it on a totally separate evening. It only took me 30 minutes.
- Cleaned out the garage and sold 2 old dehumidifiers on eBay. – We setup a 5-day eBay auction and got $65 for each one of them!
- Took 2 evening strolls around a local park. – We hadn’t been to this park in years… there’s only 1 reason why.
- Saved money on our electric bill. – Our power company’s website allows you to check your daily usage. Sure enough, less TV equals less electricity usage.
- Burned more calories. – We were off the couch moving around.
- Backed-up critical files on both of our laptops. – Transferred them all over to our Iomega 500 GB external drive.
- I played my guitar. – …for the first time in a year. I’m hooked again!
- Found 2 new bands I like. – I used online music comparison services to find 2 awesome bands with similar music styles to my favorite band, Counting Crows.
- Listened to more music. – In addition to finding new bands, I had more time to listen to my favorite music.
- We stargazed in our backyard. – …for the first time since Angel and I first started dating. It was blissful.
- Caught up on times with an old friend. – I hadn’t spoken to my buddy Jon since my wedding a year and a half ago. We had a pleasant 30 minute conversation on the phone.
- Handled basic household maintenance. – Replaced the AC filter, applied pest control spray, replaced fire alarm batteries, etc.
- Took Angel out on a romantic date. – I took her to one of our favorite Italian restaurants and then out to a local pub where we slow danced to a live music.
- Finished up a little DIY project. – I’ve been stalling on staining, sanding and hanging a certain wooden shelf for nearly 6 months.
- Updated the photo frames throughout the house. – Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. We spent some time sorting through our digital photos and replaced a few photos in various photo frames throughout the house.
- Played racquetball. – Great 2-person sport!
- Organized my monthly planner. – Entered all my known commitments into my planner and did a little time planning each night.
- Reviewed our long-term goals. – Angel and I had an open discussion last Tuesday night about our goals for the next 3 – 5 years.
- Setup recurring automatic payments for most of our bills. – Now our electricity, phone, insurance and cable bills are automatically withdrawn from our account each month. This basically buys me 30 additional minutes of free time every month.
- Updated my resume. – It only took me 45 minutes.
- Quiet relaxation. – Instead of clicking on the TV, I spent some quiet time gathering my thoughts each day when I returned home from work.
- Intelligent conversations at suppertime. – Quite frequently we eat supper in front of the TV. Since there was no TV watching this week, Angel and I had some really interesting conversations instead.
- Hit it off with our new neighbors. – We spent more time outside and ended up running into our new neighbors. They seem like pretty cool people. There’s certainly the potential for friendship here.
- Exchanged back massages. – It sure beats canned laughter.
- There was more time for “quality time”. – You know… just me and her and some classical music in the background.
- More real life experiences. – Because we were off of the couch, actually doing something.
- Watched 1 quality movie. – Instead of watching whatever was on, we went to Blockbuster and selected 1 quality movie to rent.
- Ironed my clothes each weeknight before bedtime. – …since I had more free time in the evenings. It made my mornings less stressful.
- We got more done. – Because we had so much more time to do it all.
I strongly recommend a week without television to everyone. You’ll be amazed…
Photo by: Zyphichore