10 Productive Things To Do Instead of Watching TV

Did you know that the average American watches 5 hours and 11 minutes of television every day?

That’s 36 hours of television per week, which in turn leads to 144 hours – or 6 full days –  of television every month. If you think that’s bad, imagine how much that adds up to over the course of a year – 1,728 hours, or 72 full days. That’s about two months and a half of television per year! Holy time waster, Batman!

If you put that much time into your trusty ol’ TV, here’s something for you to ponder: if you live to be 75 years old, you’ll have spent a total of 15 years glued to the television. That’s a whole decade and half. Think of all the different things you could do with that kind of time!

Instead of sitting on your couch day after day indulging in the made-up drama created by fictional characters or reality TV stars, you could use the time to add some meaning and excitement to your own life. You could accomplish so many different things if you kissed your TV goodbye. For example, you could…

1. Master a skill.

Have you ever wanted to be amazingly great at something? Good news – you can! It takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to master a skill. If you study and practice a skill with the time you usually spend watching television, you’ll brilliantly master it after 5 years and 9 months!

2. Make some extra money.

As mentioned above, the average American spends 36 hours a week watching television. That’s actually more than twice the average amount of hours a part-time job requires. A part-time job allows you to earn some extra cash, learn new job skills, and meet new people.

3. Start your own business.

Have you ever had a great idea for a business but couldn’t get the ball rolling because you didn’t have any time? Well, if you put down your TV remote, maybe you can finally realize your dream of being your own boss. The amount of time it takes to start a business varies greatly because it depends on the type of business you want. However, if you stop watching TV, you’ll have at least 144 hours per month to focus on your business. That’s more than enough time to create something great.

4. Build your legacy.

After you pass away, how would you like to be remembered? Probably not as an avid TV-watcher, right? Your legacy is something you create during your lifetime that will benefit future generations. You could write a book, start an organization, mentor a child, or even plant a tree.

5. Learn a new language.

There are so many different ways to learn a foreign language. You can use the Rosetta Stone computer software, listen to language drills via your earphones, study a foreign language dictionary, or regularly converse with people who speak the language you want to learn.

6. Volunteer.

Know how many total hours of TV Americans watch each year? 250 billion! If all that time was spent helping others, the world would be a much better place. Instead of vegging out in front of the TV, why don’t you go out and volunteer for a cause you believe in? Not only will you help improve the world, you’ll also feel better about yourself.

7. Grow your own food.

There are many benefits associated with growing your own food. For instance, you’ll get to save a lot of money, adopt a healthier diet, and enjoy better-tasting food. Growing your own food instead of watching TV also gives you the opportunity to learn more about culinary gardening, which may come in handy if all the grocery stores within a 100-mile radius ever decide to go out of business!

8. Exercise.

Know what’s the best way to shave 2 years off your life expectancy? Sitting for more than 3 hours per day. Not only does exercise keep you from sitting around for hours, it adds years to your life. It has been proven that exercising for even as little as 15 minutes each day extends your lifespan by 3 years.

9. Spend time with people.

If you know more about the main character from your favorite TV show than you know about your own best friend, you might have a problem. One of the best ways to make your life more fulfilling is to spend time with people. That doesn’t mean going to the movies or watching TV together. It means meeting up with an old friend for coffee, visiting a family member, hosting a poker night, or starting a friendly conversation with a stranger on the bus.

10. Challenge yourself.

If watching television is part of your daily routine, you’ll get stuck in a rut before you know it. If you don’t fuel your brain with new ideas and challenges, it’ll turn into mush. Instead of watching reruns and mindless shows, why don’t you challenge yourself? For example, you could try a new recipe, build something you haven’t built before, or do something you’ve always been afraid to do. A good way to challenge yourself is to try something new every day. By the end of the year, you’ll have experienced 365 different things you wouldn’t have done if you were still glued to the TV!