Turning off the TV

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I am a member of a Facebook group where various people recently committed to taking a 90-day challenge. When I saw what others were contributing, I posted:

I’ve been thinking about giving up TV, but I’m not sure…

Why Would I Consider This?

I realized that TV is very passive in nature. It took up a lot of valuable time in my evenings, and the shows did nothing to feed my soul. Instead of spending what time I did have interacting with my husband, I typically vegged out on the couch and fell asleep with my mouth gaping open.

Living the Challenge

It surprised me when several people commented on my post with encouragement for getting rid of my TV. One lady said,

I turned off my TV and sold it three years ago and I have never looked back.

That was all I needed to hear. My thought was out in the universe, and I was all in. Challenge accepted!

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’m an all-in kind of girl, and at the time, we were doing some remodeling in our living room. So I immediately unplugged the TV, moved it to a spare bedroom and adopted this no-TV rule in my life (with my husband fully on board).

However, football season rolled around, and I’ve always been a big Cowboys fan. So, I decided that I would allow Cowboys games, and that would be the only TV I would watch. (I even updated the Facebook group about this change to my accepted challenge.)

When the pre-season Cowboys game aired, I hooked up the TV and sat down on the couch, ready to watch. However, I fell asleep during that game and when I roused myself to get off the couch, I decided that was a total waste of my time and I didn’t even enjoy it, so there would be no more Cowboys watching for me.

What I’ve Learned

I’ve noticed some positive new habits forming in my life since turning off the TV. For one, my husband and I used to watch TV before we needed to work on things together as a family, like important decisions or paperwork. But now, we schedule time to do those things and get to it right away in the evening when we are still focused and awake. We are making progress on our goals, and we don’t feel deprived because they no longer interfere with planned TV time. It doesn’t feel like a loss to spend time doing other – more productive – things.

Am I legalistic about this? No way! Am I so staunchly dedicated that when I go to someone’s house and they are watching TV, I go to the other room? Absolutely not! Will I watch it in the nail shop? Certainly.

I’m aware that there are some great TV shows out there, even shows that can help you run a successful business. Some examples are The Profit or Shark Tank. But, I’m realizing that there’s so much other good content and information available that my business will never lack.

During this 90-day challenge, I’ve improved my communication skills by talking more with my family. I’ve seen less procrastination in my life because I have more time to finish projects. Also, I’ve been filling that void of time with reading and better sleep.

When it comes to your life as a business owner, are there areas where you are unwisely spending your time?  

  • Fiddling around on social media during the day
  • Distracting staff at your office rather than working on your goals
  • Attending groups that are not edifying or helpful

Have you noticed that if you go test drive a certain car, you will see that car EVERYWHERE! Now that I’m not watching TV, I’m picking up on lots of people out there who don’t watch television. 

There are so many active things you can do to help advance your dreams. There are people you should hang around that will help you and make you stronger. Ensure that the things you are doing are profitable. 

Going Forward

What will I do with the big, fancy TV currently sitting in my spare bedroom? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll sell it!

Will I go back to watching TV? I don’t think so. There are so many great books to read, podcasts to listen to, webinars to attend, and time to invest in my family. And speaking of investing time, please comment below on how you are investing your time and any changes you have made to how you spend your time!

5 Comments
  • Peter Karaganis
    December 25, 2015

    This is a fantastic challenge. I have often said that looking back on my 17 years as a parent, one of my biggest mistakes was having tv and cable. Videos, Wendy! ?

    • Peter Karaganis
      December 25, 2015

      That was supposed to say “kudos” not videos!

      • Wendy Knutson
        February 23, 2016

        Thanks for the comment Peter. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to unplug while I had kids at home. Even now my kids are freaking out at the possibility of us not having a TV when they visit!

  • Nicole
    December 25, 2015

    Good for you, Wendy! I agree wholeheartedly. For at least the past decade, we have been one of those ‘weird’ families with only one TV in the house (that rarely gets watched, and when it does, it’s intentional). Life is too short to passively watch someone else’s life play out on TV — it’s much more fun to actively live our own. Kudos to you!!

    • Wendy Knutson
      February 23, 2016

      Thanks for the comment Nicole. I’m amazed at the new activities available to my family with the TV off. Creativity abounds!