I conducted an experiment this week.
From Sunday night at 9 o’clock until Friday evening at 7 o’clock I didn’t watch any television. None. No morning news, no evening news, no Olympics (tennis was over anyway) and no primetime shows.
And I’m a television watcher. I like television.
Don’t worry I’m not going turn into one of those “I don’t have a television. I only listen to public radio and classical music on my solar-powered iPod” people.
I just started to wonder if I would accomplish a lot more if I stopped watching. You hear that tv is a time suck, so I decided to put it to the test.
I was so confident that I would get more stuff done that I kept a list of things I achieved during the time I would normally be watching tv.
Monday started off well. In the morning I read the paper (Which I usually do anyway, but while watching the news. This time I concentrated on the paper) and got to work ten minutes earlier than usual.
That night I cleaned my bathroom, lost two games of Scrabble (But I did have a 33 point word, which is big for me), rearranged my novel sticky note wall and read 34 pages.
Tuesday was less productive. I only got to work five minutes early and after work I lost three games of Dominoes and only read 14 pages.
Wednesday I was at work at the usual time and I stopped keeping a list.
I thought I would read more, write more, do more chores, have more conversations by giving up tv. I didn’t. I’m not exactly sure where the time went, to be honest. I didn’t watch tv, but I didn’t have anything to write on the list either.
There are two conclusions I could draw from this experiment:
1) I am just plain unproductive and television isn’t to blame. It’s just who I am.
2) I am very productive every day and my enjoyment of television doesn’t get in the way of that productivity. It may even increase it because it allows me to be mindless for an hour or two and recharge.
I’ll tell which one I prefer right after this episode of Royal Pains.