Wildway wants you to live a better, fuller life. That's why we're exploring the issue of screen time and attempting to reduce that problem in our lives and yours. Check out the other articles in this series and join our mission. We want you to reduce your screen time and use that time for something else... something better. Less screen time means more time to Live Wild.
Here's the next step to doing that:
Turn Off the TV
We've been sitting in front of our televisions since the 1920's, making it the longest standing form of screen time and despite all our smart phones and tablets that offer alternative entertainment- it probably isn't going anywhere anytime soon. A recent survey study revealed that 80% of the population watches TV on a daily basis, showing that it's still America's favorite past-time and a staple in our everyday lives.
So, even if you took our advice from the first article in this series and started leaving your phone in the other room, there's a good chance that another screen is stealing your attention and taking your time. Here's a few tips on how to get away from that big square box in your living room.
1. Choose one TV service to unsubscribe from
The easiest way to cut down on your TV time is to eliminate the things you're actually watching. You can start to remove those streaming services that are taking your time and draining your bank account- Netflix one month, Hulu the next, and HBO after that. Choose one- maybe the one that you're least attached to- and cancel your subscription today. After a few weeks, you'll find you might not miss it as much as you thought you would.
2. Build your own Bucket List
Like we've said- Less screen time equals more time to Live Wild. So, consider all the many things you could be doing instead of watching television. Whether it's reading, going to the gym, writing in a journal, volunteering, or calling your mom, you can choose to spend those hours doing something better. Make a list of hobbies, things you enjoy doing, and activities that add value to your life. Write it down and put it somewhere visible. That way, when you go to grab the remote, you'll be reminded of all the other things you could and should be doing. We, here at Wildway, have our own version of that list- our Live Wild list- that acts as our bucket list of things we want to do, see, and experience. So, we're joining you and staying committed to that list, not our screens.
3. Track your time to get a temperature change
Time management is something we can all improve upon, but it's an especially crucial practice to employ when reducing your screen time. Utilize a time log- download one online or draw up your own- to track how you're spending your minutes, hours, and days. Once you see your time in black and white, you can see how much of your life is spent watching TV. You can also see where your time is going to other activities. Maybe you're only spending 3 hours a week at the gym instead of the 5 you said you would. Maybe you aren't reading for 30 minutes every day like you resolved to this year. Track your time and discover where you want to make changes.
4. Set boundaries to reduce screen time by 50% in 3 weeks
As with your phones, you can and must set limits. Maybe you deleted your HBO account, but can't yet quit Netflix (the new season of Stranger Things just got released, okay). That's okay- just limit yourself. Utilize the tracking tool from the previous step and reduce that block labeled "TV" by 10% the first week, 25% after that, then cut it in half. If you normally binge an entire season of your favorite show in one week, try to stretch it out to a month. If you usually watch two hours of TV a day, cut it down to 1 hour over the next two weeks. Keep setting those boundaries and stay within them. There are even settings on your television that can be programmed to automatically turn off after a designated time period. Find those and utilize them.
5. Pursue goals not shows
Studies show that the average US citizen spends 2 hours and 46 minutes a day watching television. That's over 900 hours a year. Think of what you could accomplish in just a fraction of that time. If you have aspirations, you can devote some or all of that TV time to meeting them, so set goals for yourself and be motivated to reach them. Want to start that business you've been thinking about? Take 30 minutes of that time you spend watching Greys Anatomy every day and use it to brainstorm. Want to cross something off that New Year's Resolution list? You've got 900 hours to do it. Your goals can be your reason. Make a change and make a difference in your life.
Stay tuned for the another step to reducing screen time in the next article in this series. Less screen time = more time to Live Wild. Unsubscribe, find alternative activities, set boundaries, and have goals.