turning off the TVIf you want to succeed at anything, I recommend turning off the TV.

I once had a boyfriend who did nothing but complain about the financial mess he was in and the job he hated, yet spent every night watching hours and hours of mindless TV. One day I got so fed up with his helpless victim attitude that I grabbed the remote, switched off NCIS and threw him out.

I have those moments 🙂

The simple decision to turn off the idiot box made a huge difference to the success of my business and also the quality of my life in general.

Not only is television a complete time-drain, it also eats up valuable family time and for the most part, fills your home with negative messages and images.

When the kids were small, I’d never allow the news on while they were around. As they got older, I limited the amount of ‘junk TV’ they could watch. I think most of us parents are vigilant about what we expose our kids to. Turning off the TV is a common decision when young ones are around. We simply don’t want their impressionable minds influenced by negative, ‘dumbing-down’ messages.

Guess what? We need to protect our own minds for the very same reasons!

Watching the evening news is downright depressing. Having the TV on during dinner leaves little room for conversation and family interaction. And sitting down for a night of staring at the idiot box is NOT quality family time. It’s nothing more than keeping each other passive company.

Did you know the average Australian watches about 3-1/2 hours of TV a day? That is a MASSIVE time drain!

We talk about not having enough time, struggling to get it all done, juggling our lives like women possessed and then we throw 3-1/2 hours of our day away – just like that. Seriously? That’s time we can never EVER get back.

I have friends and mentors who went one step further than simply turning off the TV and got rid of it all together. Our family still watched movies and a couple of favourite TV shows the kids had negotiated to ‘keep’.

The thing is, we’d turn the TV on for only SPECIFIC reasons and a LIMITED time – not just as a ‘pass-the-time’ activity.

I don’t want to ‘pass the time’!

I want to USE the time, ENJOY the time and SQUEEZE the most out of every damn moment!

I can think of lots of things you could do. You can go for an evening walk, go to the gym, play a board game, help your kids with homework, have a conversation with your spouse, read a book, write a book, build a new business, phone a friend for have a long chat, write letters to overseas family members.

When my now-husband first started coming over, he was surprised to see a cupboard full of board games. He thought it was a waste of money and space – he simply assumed we didn’t use them. It was a bit of a surprise to him when he realised just how much we did use them.

Turning off the TV gave me a huge amount of quality time with my children. On days they were with their father, it gave me a generous amount of time to catch up on work and enjoy some me-time. I built a successful business by putting in that little bit of extra effort – a few hours at a time – and doing it consistently. You have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and do new things – or do the same things in a new way.

If you choose to ‘flick the switch’, be aware there’ll be the urge to succumb to other forms of media – likely social media or the internet in general. To me, passively surfing the net or social media is no different to watching ‘Big Brother’. There’s no real purpose to it, you’re just killing time.

Yes, social media can be useful for keeping in touch with friends and family who are far away, but mostly that’s not what you do on Facebook, is it?

I’m not suggesting you avoid social media and the internet all together. It’s simply a matter of being aware and not allowing it to become a ‘time-eating-monster’.

Using social media for business – which I do daily – is very different to using it personally. Social media for business is about connecting with specific people, building relationships and yes, friendships too, but you need to treat it like any other business activity. There should be a clear purpose and time-frame for it. Else social media will become a time killer rather than a marketing asset to your business.

John D. Arden, PhD in his book ‘Rewire You Brain’ states: “TV and other modern forms of mass media have contributed to attention problems. ..The electronic media further increases the problems of their viewers…We have all the necessary ingredients for an attention-deficit society.”

He goes on to talk about how draining this media consumption is on us and that we need to wake up from our ‘sleep-walking society’

For most people the thought of turning off the TV is akin to suggesting they amputate a limb. But isn’t it really just a crutch they use to escape from reality?

Wouldn’t you prefer to think for yourself, make empowered choices and create your own reality of sheer and utter awesomeness in the here and now?

Hugs,

 xx Miriam