I’m guessing you’ve read a fair few blog posts which warn you about the evils of TV. You might even have tried stopping watching TV altogether – perhaps checking out Steve’s post, The 5 Step Process to Complete TV Elimination.
Now, I’m all in favor of productivity. I’ve no problem with people cutting out some of the crap in their lives and replacing it with good stuff. But …
… I don’t think you need to cut out TV altogether. In fact, I think watching TV can actually be a great idea.
#1: We All Need Downtime
To be truly productive, you cannot work every hour of the day. You need downtime – and that doesn’t mean doing chores in between answering emails. It means switching off from your work (whether that’s paid work, housework or volunteering) and letting your thoughts focus on something else.
Personally, I think TV is great for this. (Books are great too – but it can take a bit more effort to get into a good book.) You can switch on the TV, kick back and relax with a favorite show – and return to your work, feeling refreshed.
#2: You Don’t Have to Just Watch TV
When you’ve got the television on, you don’t have to simply sit and stare at the screen. You can do all sorts of things, like:
- Household chores – like ironing
- Needlework or other craft projects
- Chatting to family/friends
- Tweeting or updating Facebook
Sure, there’ll be times when you want to really focus on a show – but often, you’ll have the TV on as a backdrop to other activities. If it makes a mundane chore a bit more interesting, or helps you stick with your hobbies, then what’s wrong with that?
#3: TV Isn’t All Trash
Just like good novels, good TV series have compelling narratives, engaging and interesting characters, clever plot twists, thorny moral dilemmas … they’re far from being trash.
Non-fiction TV shows – like documentaries – can provide a window onto a new world. Some of us learn best from books, but many people find it easiest to engage with a combination of audio and visual material.
Sure, there’s a lot of trashy TV out there. But it’s up to you what you watch.
(If you’ve got a great series to recommend, let us know in the comments…)
#4: TV Can Make You Laugh
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been feeling a bit down, and I’ve watched something that’s laugh-out-loud funny, and … everything’s seemed okay again.
It’s not just me. Scientists believe that laughing really is good for you – and can help you live longer. So next time you’re feeling a bit stressed out, instead of struggling on with your work, find a great comedy to watch.
#5: TV Can Inspire You to Change Your Life
Ever watched a show which really lit a fire under you?
Perhaps The Biggest Loser helped you get started on your diet. Or maybe SuperNanny and Wife Swap inspired you to really turn your family life around. Or The Apprentice gave you the push you needed to go after your own business idea.
Watching other people’s triumphs can be really uplifting (and seeing them face difficult circumstances can often put your own life into perspective).
What shows do you watch? Do you have the TV on for hours every day, or just a few times a week? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments…