"I never have enough time to do everything!"
Do you find yourself saying the above sentence frequently? There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do. Never enough time to spend with family, pursue a hobby, work on your investments, study for a degree, read or do the homework you need to be better at your job. Or is there? Perhaps you DO have the time, but something is sucking it away from you and making your time less productive. It's something that is probably sitting in a prominent place in your living room right now. It's your television set.
Now, I have to admit, I'm a bit of a couch potato. I watch a LOT of television...not as much as I used to, but it is still a lot. I usually come home from work and watch a few hours of TV every night. It's my way of unwinding. I especially enjoy watching CNBC, BBC America and The History Channel. At least I'm learning something while I'm watching TV. But, all that TV watching that I thought was making me smarter is actually pretty dumb.
A couple of weeks ago I purchased a book called "The Little Red Book of Selling" by Jeffrey Gitomer. I purchased it on Half.com (of course) because I wanted to give myself an edge at work. I work in a sales-driven environment, and this book came highly recommended by a co-worker. There was good, common sense sales advice in the book, but there was another piece of info I found that really had nothing to do with sales that made the most sense to me. That is, successful people watch very little TV.
It's not that successful people find TV is beneath them or that they are "too good" to be bothered to watch TV. Their priorities are just different. They view TV as being a big time-suck. Time is money, or an opportunity to spend on things that are more important, and therefore TV interferes with those opportunities. While most people are zoned out in front of their TV sets watching another episode of "Lost", successful people are preparing for the next day at work...reading emails, checking appointments, laying out their clothes for the next day, reading trade journals, reading enlightening books, taking a distance education course, networking with friends and clients via email, working on their household spending plans, doing volunteer work, etc. They are simply being more efficient with their time.
You might be wondering what this has to do with the subject of Savvy Frugality, but isn't your time worth something to you? What would you do with an extra hour or two each day? That is an extra 14 hours every week. If you had that much extra time each week, and decided to apply it toward something productive...either professionally or personally...how much do you think you could accomplish?
I'm not advocating dumping your TV altogether. I have a DVR, so I can just record the shows I really want to see, or watch them later on my computer. I am just putting off my TV viewing to a later time each night, so I can spend those two hours after I get home from work to do all of the things I can never seem to find the time to do. I currently take online marketing courses, so I'll certainly have more time for homework. I'll have more time to read good books and fill my head with something more useful than what I would find on The Food Network. My son will have a play buddy instead of some guy who sits on the couch next to him to watch The Simpsons. What can I do with an extra two hours a day...two hours I used to spend sitting in front of the TV? A lot.
There's a reason it's called "The Idiot Box". Take back your time. You'll be a better person for it.
Posted by T | 9:53 PM | television, time management | 3 comments »