I Survived a Week Without TV

I did it – I went a week without watching TV or DVDs or mindlessly watching videos on YouTube!

Kill Your TV by Gigi Ibrahim
Kill Your TV by Gigi Ibrahim

It was definitely a mind-opening experience. I didn’t have the ability to zone out in front of the boob tube or to use it as a distraction from other activities. It was weird getting used to the quiet. By the end of the week, I often turned on music or a podcast to fill the void.

I had been using TV and YouTube as background noise, but I didn’t realize what a time suck it has become. Before if I finished a task but a video only had 5 minutes left, I’d waste 5 minutes watching it. I also wasn’t aware of how much I used these vices as a way to avoid work. Without TV and videos, I was much more productive. One day I had my to-do list done by 3pm, way earlier than I’d normally be done.

So what did I do instead of watching TV?

  • Worked on 2 projects in my backyard garden – I don’t have a green thumb, but they needed to get done.
  • Relaxed in my pool at the end of the day.
  • Attended and sang at my friend’s birthday party.
  • Worked on setting up my home video studio.
  • Caught up on reading business periodicals and building my database of professional contacts.
  • Cleaned out my bathroom and sorted my photos as part of my year-long clean-out-your-life project.
  • Caught up on sleep – I realized I would watch TV when I’m tired instead of taking a nap or going to bed.
  • Attended networking events.
  • Read a book.
  • Played with my dog.

Throughout the day I get flashes of TV shows and movies that I’ve seen. I used to think that meant I wanted to watch them again. Now I see them as fleeting thoughts.

This week also reminded me of how much I suck at sitting still. TV was good for getting me to hold still for more than 20 minutes. This past week I probably didn’t keep still except of the times I was icing my sore shoulder. (I was walking my 60-pound dog and I tweaked it when, unbeknownst to me, she decided to stop.)

The only thing I’ve watched since the ban was lifted was a YouTube video of a soldier surprising her Mom – I’m a sucker for those. I think TV and YouTube will continue to not be part of my life unless there’s something I really want to watch. I have better things to do with my time.

If you want to hear more about my clean-out-your-life project and what I found when I cleaned out my bathroom, I made a video about it.

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