Do you love movies and TV shows but once you start you can’t stop watching till you’re too tired to keep your eyes open? Ever tried to cut down on your watching but kept creeping back? This post will give you some tips to reduce your TV addiction.

Why is TV a problem for you?

If you’re watching a series where nowadays you can view one episode after the other, it’s easy to get carried away and all of a sudden you’re whole evening is gone. If this happens a few nights in a row you’ll be left with a mountain of chores to do and won’t have time to spend on anything else. This continues in a cycle and you don’t have time for working on your goals.

Problem with just throwing out your TV

You might be thinking there’s a simple solution to this problem: just throw out your TV! If you set up your environment to promote productivity by removing these kind of temptations. You will naturally gravitate to other activities and end up moving closer to achieving your goals. However this on its own doesn’t work. After a busy day your brain needs some time to relax. So if you don’t have a TV, you’ll subconsciously replace it with something else like YouTube. Take that away, and you’ll replace it with Newspapers. You end up with the same result of not having used your time to achieve the things you wanted.

The extremely disciplined approach

Without throwing out your TV, there’s the extremely disciplined approach. Here, you try to discipline yourself to only indulge in your guilty pleasure N times a week, and only when you have finished all your other work. This relies on sheer willpower and there is always going to be a time when you have a really busy day or something happens and you want to indulge yourself. This interrupts your discipline and makes it easier to break your own rules again next time.

The habits and rituals approach with time-boxed indulgence

Habits and rituals can be very powerful in helping you to make lasting change by introducing consistency that ensures you have a bit of productivity every day. Rituals are very solid, repeatable routines that you do every day that set you up to be productive. Combine this with time-boxing your indulgence, e.g. I’ll watch 2 episodes of that show, then that’s it. Then you’ll always be achieving some productivity because your morning ritual will propel you into your most important tasks for the day, time-boxing your indulgence and starting your evening ritual on time will ensure you get enough sleep and everything is ready for a streamlined morning to get you right into your most important tasks again.

Find alternative methods for downtime

If you’re reducing the time you spend on TV because you’re time-boxing it, you might need to find other ways of relaxing yourself so that you don’t constantly want to go and watch a movie. There are many things you can try including exercise, meditation, or taking a nap! Pick something and include that somewhere in your daily or weekly schedule. This will help relax you and may be just the thing that stops you from over indulging past your time-boxed interval.

Making your goals something that you look forward to working on

If you love your work then you never work a day in your life. With this in mind, make your goals something that you look forward to working on. Make sure they’re really important to you and that they’re still relevant and still the top things you want to achieve. Break off small chunks of each goal, put them on your wall and make sure you’re tackling those small chunks. This will give you a feeling of productivity and ensure that your time spent on your guilty pleasure doesn’t make you feel guilty at all.

Summary of how to banish your TV addiction

  1. Instil a morning and evening ritual
  2. Time-box your indulgence
  3. Find alternative methods for downtime
  4. Make your goals something you look forward to working on

If you take these 4 steps you’ll be making your guilty pleasure into something that’s under control and provides you with enjoyment without making you less productive!

How do you stop your guilty pleasures from hampering your productivity?