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How to Reclaim 15 Hours of Your Life Back – Every Week!

A guest poster over at Get Rich Slowly recently shared an incredible tip for how to use a recording device to get control of your TV watching habits so you can redirect your attention to far more productive endeavors.

Erica Douglass writes:

750 hours a year is 14.42 hours a week, or just over two hours a day. Besides housework, “market work” (the term the book uses to denote paid-for jobs), and sleeping, what activity consumes the most time?

The answer shocked me: It’s watching television.

She goes on to suggest using a DVR to strategically record shows you are interested in and only actually watch what is necessary. I actually have been using this technique for about a year now. It’s been very good to me. Here are a couple thoughts / suggestions not discussed in Erica’s post:

    1. A side effect of the DVR tactic is that you actually watch 25% less TV than you record. On average a 30 minute show has 8 minutes of commercials and an hour long show spews out 15 minutes of commercials.
    2. To make me feel productive, I do other things that are also “mindless” while I watch TV. For example, I’ll unplug my electric guitar and run scales or practice strumming chords. That way I’m building muscle memory while wasting the brain memory.
    3. When your regular shows go off season, don’t get sucked into new ones. That gives you much more time to spend doing other things, usually during the summer and winter months.
    4. If you feel like you’re not getting enough of your things done or you’re just feeling pressed for time, you can delete one of the shows you have on auto-record and reclaim 45 minutes of your life back per week. Oddly enough each time I do this, I rarely miss the deleted show. If your goal is to ultimately reclaim all of your time back from the TV monster, and Erica makes strong points for why you should want to, systematically reducing the number of shows recorded is a great way to ween yourself off of TV entirely.

      To the fellow TV watchers out there, give Erica’s suggestion a shot and you’ll find lots more time to get things done. Check out Finding Time to Pursue Your Dreams: Free Up 750 Hours a Year with One Simple Change @ Get Rich Slowly.

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