I’m not an anti-TV zealot. In fact, I’ll frankly admit that I enjoy sit-coms, documentaries, movies, sporting events and dramatic series. And I have no intention of becoming ascetic and surrendering my remote.
That said, I know I watch too much TV, and most of it is due to lazy thoughtlessness. If there’s nothing urgent to do, the couch beckons and the remote winds up in my hand. Time slips away, and sometime later that day or evening, I will realize I have killed time.
I’m going to print this list out and put it near my customary seat. I know it won’t distract me from watching what I truly want to watch, but I hope it will remind me when I’m wasting time that I could be doing something better.
1. Read a book.
2. Read a magazine.1
3. Write in my journal.2
4. Do some ironing.3
5. Email someone I haven’t reached out to in a while.
6. Do a blog post.
7. Browse a cook book.
8. Read a poem.
9. Take a walk.
10. Draw or paint something.
11. Do some pushups and leg lifts.
12. Polish shoes.3
13. Work on the business plan.4
14. Look at genealogical information.5
15. Match socks.3,6
1We subscribe to The New Yorker and a bunch of others. I will never catch up in my New Yorker reading. Never.
2I bought the most awesome leather journal in Florence. Now I have to fill it with profound thoughts.
3This can be done while watching most TV, unless it’s something that demands rapt attention.
4Much more on this sometime later.
5There are an awful lot of Ryans. Trying to figure out which ones are related to you is not easy. I’m thinking of changing my name to something more interesting.
6This is made much easier since I had the genius idea of just buying white and black socks.