Why don't you have a TV?

How you manage to watch less TV

This is the second part of our post on television. In the last article you learned why we watch so much TV. Today it's about television as an anti-habit, as a habit that we want to work off.

Watching less TV is one popular New Years resolution - maybe yours too? Or do you not watch much TV but watch online series for hours every day? Theoretically, you can equate any halfway similar habit with television and similarly "fight" it. Because habits always work on a similar principle.

Maybe you think: "What's the bad thing if I watch my favorite show for an hour now and then?" We think: Nothing at all! In our opinion it is automated television that lasts for hours, even when nothing comes, a problem. Spending more than three hours a day in front of the television because you don't know what else to do - that's the problem. Or the waste. However, if you want to watch a specific program every now and then, of course! But “Targeted every now and then” is not as easy as it sounds.

Let's go through step by step how you can curb or turn off the habit of watching TV.

Know your why

Just like Patrick described in relation to New Year's resolutions, you need to know your why, that is: your motivations. In the best case scenario, you will realize that you can use your time more sensibly, e.g. for active relaxation, because watching TV doesn't really relax you. We experience active relaxation with sports, reading, with friends.

If you are convinced television is keeping you from having better experiences, then the chance increases that you will break the habit. However, if you only do it because it is “in” not to watch TV or because your partner wants to, you are in bad hands. You might have yourself under control for a few days, but as soon as everyday life, stress and exhaustion return from work, you will automatically reach for the remote control as always.

Therefore, consider whether it is really important to you to watch TV less and what motivates you to do so. Do you want yourself dedicate more to a hobby? More time with your family, friends or your significant other spend? These are reasons that (can) motivate you in the long term. But it's not just the why that decides. We are creatures of habit and have to actively fight the beaten track in our brainwhen we want to change our behavior. After all, doing everything as usual is the path of least resistance. In order to pull the lever at the crucial moment, you should first recognize when this will occur.

Recognize triggers

When do you usually turn on the TV? When you get up, come home, while you eat, before you go to sleep? The first step to change is to recognize this moment because when you prepare for this, you are more likely to make the right decision.

In a guest post you already learned how we can reprogram our brain by the transitionrecognize the transition. This is always when we switch from one activity to another: we come home, get up in the morning, clear the table after a meal. It rattles briefly in the head and as a simple solution, because it's familiar, it offers itself: to switch on the television.

Lower resistance

The problem with television is that it's that simple. All other Alternatives take more effort. After all, there would be so many options: picking up a book (but which one? Is there enough energy for it? What is the partner doing during the time?), Starting a new hobby (but which one? Where? When? How? With whom? Isn't that too expensive? Do you need equipment?), To do sports (which one? In the weather? Where are the shoes? Is my strength enough?). That is only a fraction of the possible courses of action. Watching TV is very easy.

So that you use the remote control less often, you should lower the barriers to do something else instead. Almost all other activities require more effort, because you have to think about it, inform yourself, make decisions or maybe get equipment.

If you've already done this, you'll lower the barriers to the new habit. Let's say you used to have one instrument played. But now it is packed in the basement. Of course you don't take it out when you're exhausted crossing are.

If you have the instrument though taken out, dusted off, tuned and placed in the middle of the room, it is no longer so difficult to play on. In the same way, you can order a book, borrow it or take it off your shelf and put it on the couch in a quiet moment.

Increase resistance

Even after you've tuned the guitar, stocked the easel, threaded the string, and laid out the book, the Remote control still win when it's close at hand.

After all, you haven't painted, played, sewed in such a long time - can you still do it at all? Is it still fun? Our brains are really good at stifling our burgeoning efforts. Therefore, you have to consciously raise the hurdles that keep you from falling into old patterns: Hide your remote control!

If you stow them in the nightstand instead of leaving them on the couch, it will take more effort to get them. The book that you just have to pick up is more likely to win.

to make rules

Rules help explicit to dowhat exactly you want to do. Again, you make a decision for yourself instead of making new decisions over and over again. Don't be too strict, because otherwise you won't be able to make it through. Better to start lightly and then increase yourself. Maybe you are already challenged enough, if only you one introduce television-free days of the week. You can also limit yourself to a certain time, e.g. from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Or you set yourself the rule that you have to look for the programs specifically (with a program guide or online) instead of zapping. However, there is scope for interpretation as to what targeted is ...

Social pressure

You stand an anti-habit together with your family, your significant other, Roommates or colleagues more easily. But be critical when choosing yours Fellow campaignersbecause if they don't have a proper why, they can easily sabotage your efforts again.

In the partnership can dispense with the television unforeseen problems reveal: What else should we do? You will be faced with choices about which hobbies you can pursue together.

According to my experience wins a partnership by reducing TV and series consumption. From time to time nothing speaks against couch potato evenings. However, if this is the rule, you can't appreciate these sessions at all, can you?

Measure success

It motivates us to record successes with a checklist. Start every day Check mark if you haven't watched TV. Or if you haven't zapped aimlessly. If you have your Rules adhered to has.

You can also enter several things that you tick separately, e.g. watch TV in the morning, watch TV while eating, zap. Maybe one thing is easier than the other. Then start again with the triggers that you can't seem to resist. Lower the hurdles even further so you can establish a different habit.

Why I think television should be an anti-habit

As already mentioned in the first part, I found out in the spring of 2014 that I was felt no better after hours of television and series sessions. That should be the goal then (and now). While reading, however, I became calm, inspired, and content inside.

So I got into the habit of doing at least ten minutes a day read. I've also been going to the twice a week with my partner for two months Sports. Due to his working hours, he can only do this in the evening. That's why we're already there two evenings a week So late at home that the TV stays off. On other evenings do we do something with friends, swim or chat so long after dinner that even then there is no time to watch TV. That’s not bad either - we’re not missing anything.

Another experience is that I do sleep betterwhen I read a few minutes before going to sleep, have been to sports beforehand or discuss or write down problems if necessary. Trying the Letting my thoughts be pushed aside by the television wouldn't do me any good.

I wish you every success in limiting your television viewing. If you don't see the point in it - okay too! As always, I can only write about what works for me. I live by it happier, experience more, spend more active time with people who do me good. I focus more on what makes me feel good instead of automatically following what I have done uncritically for years or what is common in society.

Did you more tipsthat help to watch less TV? Then write a comment under this post!

Photo: Shutterstock remote control television

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