Having more time is one of those things that everyone says isn’t possible. And objectively of course it isn’t; we have the time that we have and we certainly can’t buy any more.
But looking at how we choose to spend our time has the potential to free up time to use in other ways.
I’ve been cutting down on how much TV I watch over the past few years.
This started when I reviewed how I was spending my time and realised I didn’t benefit much from the not-so-occasional Netflix bingeing that I was succumbing to.
I decided that I didn’t want so much of my life to be spent in that way. Instead would choose to watch an episode of something deliberately but then I would stop.
When I first made this change I set myself a guideline of one programme a day and I found it pretty easy to stick to, mainly because I was enjoying having so much more time to spend on other things. (I get much more enjoyment out of an hour spent reading a novel than an hour watching the TV.)
Gradually over the years I found that I was going several days at a time without watching any at all.
And, of course, the upside was when I did choose to watch something it was a programme I really wanted to watch and I got much more enjoyment from it.
So earlier this year when I was looking to save money to adjust for the increase in energy costs, I decided to cancel my TV subscription. I still pay for Netflix (at the moment) and have access to all the free-to-view channels. it made no sense to keep paying for any other TV each month.
And yes, there are some specific shows I miss (probably more it’s the characters than the actual programmes) but I barely think about them.
This isn’t specifically an article to tell you that you should watch less television. It’s to encourage you to look at where you are focusing your time and/or money and to see if it’s really where you want to spend it.
Is there something that takes up more of your time than you would like? How would you rather be spending that time? (I’ve found it much easier to give things up if I can see what I will use that time for instead on something I’d rather be doing.)
At the same time it’s useful to set guidelines rather than rules: I’d rather not spend more than an hour a day watching TV still allows me to choose to watch a two hour film when I want to.
Thinking through what you’d rather do with the time that you will save before you start will help to motivate you to make the change you’ve identified.
I’d love to hear about any changes you’ve made or are considering making. Please do share in the comments.