“Watching too much TV can triple our hunger for more possessions, while reducing our personal contentment by about 5 percent for every hour a day we watch.” -David Niven
Have you ever found yourself saying no to opportunities and doing what you really want to do because you don’t have the time. You don’t have the time to read a book, start a side business, exercise or cook a healthy meal.
Well, the average adult watches 2.8 hours per day of television, this is the biggest thief stealing your time each and every day. All the things you want to do, can be done if you choose to do them instead of watching and consuming tv. You can live the life you want but you have to stop watching others live theirs.
This is what I have gained when I stopped watching t.v a couple years ago:
- Read books, lots of them and hefty, thick ones at that! Books that I was never able to finish before, I have learned to devour them like my favorite dessert. Yes books are yummy too! Just make sure that the content is right 😉
- Walk more. I always felt tired to go on any walk that requires more effort than it would take to go from the parking lot to the store. To prove to you how out of shape I was, I would make extra rounds just to get to the closest spot possible. Even though, I am by no means a fitness buff now, I make the effort to walk more each week.
- Cook from scratch. If you told me years ago to make bread, or spaghetti sauce from scratch, I would have looked at you like you were crazy! Now I whip up anything from quiches to baguettes (without cheating with ready Pillsbury products or the like)
- Garden. So far, I have grown corn (ok, I got only a few husks out of it, but still), tomatoes, broccoli, kale, cilantro, parsley, mint, swiss chard, lettuce, cucumbers, squash, and the list goes on 😉
- Organize the Marie Kondo way. While the old me hated organizing, the “new me “finds pleasure into folding every article of clothing perfectly so it can stand up vertically and be able to fit neatly into the drawers. I know, I surprised myself too with this one!
- Write. Write.. I have found joy for writing that I did not know I had.
- Play more with my kids. We now enjoy weekly family nights, lots of cuddle time, and plenty more family outings all because I have more time.
- Homeschool 4 kids. Need I say more?
- Make natural self-care products. Who needs to buy products, when you can easily make it yourself? Again, had you told me I would be making my own soaps, deodorant, toothpaste, and lip balm I would’nt belief you.
- Learn Quran. I now read several pages a day (alhamdulilah) and am trying to memorize a few verses every week. There is so much solace that can be found in reading the quran that I have no idea why I was looking anywhere else.
- Learn a few languages. While we are working to improve our Arabic, we are also learning French and Spanish as a family.
- Eat/live healthy. Now that I read a lot more I am more informed and make educated decisions on what we eat to the products we use on our body.
- Work on personal development. I try to work on my shortcomings by reading self-help books like the The Productive Muslim Book, looking to the quran for inspiration and listening to lectures given by experts on the topic.
- Sleep better. Because I now go to sleep earlier, I’m now also able to consistently wake up not only for fajr, but Tahajjud prayers (alhamdulilah)
- Listen to khutbahs. When I need a spiritual reminder or encouragement, I find listening to khutbas especially inspirational and helpful.
- DIY. I have gone from trashing things when they break to actually taking the time to try to mend it.
- Help the environment. Who would have known that cleaning up the beach could be so much fun! Apparently, My kids and I have such a ball doing so 😉
- Reflect. This is perhaps the best benefit I received from not watching t.v. I now take the time to reflect on my life choices. I look into the way I parent, the relationships I have and change whatever I can so.
As you can see, so many positive changes happened in my life when I just stopped one bad habit – watching t.v. and swapped it for doing something more productive. This just goes to show how much time we really have and how much of it we just waste each and every single day. If you find yourself not being able to accomplish all things you want, try switches off the tv.