Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I'm Banning TV, Guys

I’ve realised my obsession with TV has become slightly destructive to my general productivity and was somehow making me feel more and more depressed. I’ve been working full time for a few months and I have to admit I’ve been feeling really depressed for a lot of reasons: I don’t get time to do what I want to do ie. make films, write stuff – in general, do creative projects. As well, I’ve been gaining weight from sitting at a desk for 7 hours a day. It takes me an hour to get to work and back home again, which makes it difficult to go to the gym because I’m always too tired when I get home.

These issues really bothered me and I didn’t want to face them. I ended up watching copious amounts of TV – Game of Thrones, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, Modern Family, Bones, Community, Parks and Recreation and The Big Bang Theory – to avoid it. It got to a point where if I couldn’t bring myself to face my issues, I would watch re-runs of Friends, Community or How I Met Your Mother to help numb it. It was so soothing at first, but I’ve realised it’s become a really big problem.

Coming back from Cambodia was like hitting the reset button, but I resumed back to my old practices really quickly. I even had some big opportunities come my way and I didn’t get onto them fast enough because I kept doubting my abilities and self-worth. Instead of addressing my problems, I watched Game of Thrones, then re-runs of Friends until I fell into a slumber. It happened every single day until it was too late.

I came across Jan Stewart’s blog post about sustaining a good work-life balance. It really made me  rethink about how I use my time. I can’t blame anyone but myself for not using the precious few hours I have after work to do productive activities.

So to introduce and sustain a healthy work-play life balance, I’ve decided to ban TV for a month.

Here are the rules:
  • I am not allowed to watch TV from Saturday to Thursdays.
  • “TV” constitutes anything on the actual TV, all films and TV shows that “magically appear on my computer” and online videos. This is to stop me from streaming episodes of Masterchef every night.
  • Friday is my only TV day. I’ve done this because even the most disciplined individuals needs some indulgence. I can’t quit cold turkey! I NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING ON GAME OF THRONES!
  • If the TV is on during dinner time, I am allowed to watch it. However, I can’t turn on the TV or choose what is being watched.
  • My ban ends on the 21st of June, 2012
My only concern now is I will be on the internet a lot more ie. tweeting more inane crap than usual. This evening, I was just standing in the middle of the kitchen scrolling my twitter feed for about twenty minutes. That’s why I’m also going to turn off the internet and hide my mobile somewhere when I need to do anything productive. I’m going to make sure I make time to do the creative work I want to do without any distractions.

Other things I’m doing to improve my productivity, skills and mental stability:
  • I’ve just started to keep a diary. I bought one because I assumed I would have so much time on my hands that I’d need a diary to quell my supposed infinite boredom. But seriously, I think it will come in really handy because it will keep me writing constantly without the fear of being judged, which is partly why I don’t blog very often. I think it will be helpful for my own confidence-building as a writer. It’s also cathartic.
  • I’m going to make sure I read for at least 30 minutes before bed. This is for a few reasons. One is it gives my brain a break from the internet and social media. The other reason is so that I actually read. I’ve bought all these amazing books and I really want to read them but I can’t find the time or the attention span to do it. That’s why I think this will work all right. 
I only started the ban on Monday but I do feel better, more in control, more inspired. I mean, I’m writing this blog post, which is pretty cool!

On Monday, I had a really good chat with my brother about his general homework ethic and his tertiary choices. Then he and mum had a massive argument and I managed to mediate it really well, which would never have happened if I was watching re-runs of Friends.

Yesterday I spent the evening with Liam and we had a great dinner and discussed politics. He mostly informed me about what’s happening in Greece and we had a good chat about racial and gender profiling in Australian politics. I also fell asleep at about 10:47pm, which is very rare. I normally nod off at 12:30am (which explains why I’m always beyond exhausted).

Today has been pretty good. I almost turned on the TV to watch Masterchef but I managed to stop myself. Since this is a happening blog post, I guess I’d call this evening very productive. I’ve also got plans to play around with this new application called Buffer. It lets you pre-write your tweets and you can set them to tweet at certain times. I tried to figure out how to do it at work but I didn’t want to use our platform as a test-dummy so I’m going to play with that using my own twitter. I might even upload some nice photographs I took with my new lens (yes, I bought myself a new 50mm lens for dad’s Nikon).

I guess I'll be sharing things on a more regular basis. I'll be doing a few Cambodia posts too so stay tuned, and thanks for reading! I know this is a really long and wordy post!


  1. I love your resolve :D But I totally understand what you mean...I've been thinking a lot lately about what I'm doing with my life as well...sometimes I just really hate myself for not using my time wisely. :( And living with my bf is SO bad, because I just sit in the living room with my laptop and my ipad in front of me while the TV is on...ALL NIGHT. It's the worst.

    I also LOVE Game of Thrones...can't get enough of it! But I'm trying to not watch it until this season ends because the anticipation each week is too much. :P Good luck with banning TV and all...maybe I should join you...

    1. Game of Thrones is so good! Actually, this is probably the best time for me to do a TV ban because all the shows have wrapped up! I swapped my TV days to Mondays because that's when Game of Thrones come out ;)