TV is a fun, relaxing pastime, but it shouldn’t be your only pastime. The hours you spend in front of the tube can pass quickly and before you know it, you might waste an entire day with the remote in your hand.
In all likelihood, there are plenty of other things you could be doing. So rather than letting TV suck all of your spare time, here are 7 productive ways to keep yourself busy.
1. Go for a walk.
If you’re always talking about losing weight or getting into shape, the time you’re spending in front of the television could be put to better use. Rather than waste time channel surfing or watching reruns of shows you’ve seen a million times, be proactive and turn off the TV. Grab your exercise shoes and go for a walk or a jog. You’ll get your heart pumping, burn calories and boost your energy. And with more energy, you’re less likely to whither away sitting on the couch.
2. Turn on the music.
Then again, maybe it’s rainy or cold outside. If you can’t exercise outdoors, but you’re looking for ways to make good use of your time, turn off the TV and turn on the radio. This is one way to sneak in a few minutes of physical activity. Put on an upbeat tempo and get your body moving!
3. Unsubscribe to newsletters.
If your email inbox overflows with newsletters and promotional items from retail stores or restaurants, skip the binge-watching session and use this time to declutter your inbox. You’ll receive far fewer emails once you unsubscribe. And with less baggage in your inbox, you’re less likely to overlook important emails.
4. Organize your finances.
Your personal finances aren’t going to improve themselves. Rather than spend hours a day watching television, spend this time figuring out ways to improve your financial outlook. Come up with a plan to increase your emergency savings and pay off debt, or explore other ways to get a better grasp on your money, for instance by couponing or reading personal finance blogs.
5. Play games as a family.
Do you watch hours of television a day as a family? If so, set an example for your children and encourage everyone to get off the couch. Plan outdoor activities like kickball, or pull out a puzzle or board game and spend the evening having fun as a family.
6. Meet up with friends.
Some people sit in front of the television because of boredom. Rather than let TV entertain you, call up a few friends and meet up with those you haven’t seen in a while. Get together for dinner after work, invite them over to your house for the evening or think of other fun activities.
7. Make extra money.
Maybe you want to increase your emergency fund or pay off debt, but you don’t have enough disposable income. If you spend three or four hours a day watching television, that’s three or four hours you could spend earning money with a side hustle. Think about it: If you earn an extra $125 a week, that’s an extra $500 a month. Creative ways to earn money include becoming an Uber driver, freelance writing, selling items online and more.
You might look forward to coming home and sitting in front of the television, but TV can become a major time-waster, contributing to laziness and stumping productivity. So turn off the television and explore other ways to occupy your time. Spend time with family, declutter your life, educate yourself, squeeze in exercise or earn some extra cash.