I have a confession to make. I’m a little embarrassed about it. I spend WAY too much time watching TV. Can you relate? Maybe you don’t spend quality time with the boob tube like me, but do you ever find yourself lost on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube, or incessantly checking email? If you’re chronically wasting time, you’re in the right place. The first step to dealing with any “addiction” is acknowledging you have a problem. Own it.
Now, let’s move forward. Here's how I'm addressing my time suck.
Identify What Purpose It Serves (and Doesn’t)
Clearly, a time suck is serving some innate need… but is it really delivering?
For me, having a mindless hour (or two) of TV, allows me to decompress, de-stress, relax, and turn my mind off. Once I identified what I was looking for, I started to reframe my needs and look for other ways to meet them. As an example, doing some restorative yoga, getting lost in a good book, or relaxing with a glass of wine and some of my favorite tunes all meet those same needs.
Along the same lines, its also important to recognize what your time sucking isn’t giving you. Again, using me as an example, I realized my chronic TV watching was keeping me from having meaningful interactions with friends and family. Insert friends and family time into the list above - check!
Prioritize and Plan Accordingly
I also looked at what I was spending my time watching. Was it necessary for me to watch ANOTHER Law & Order marathon or re-runs of Sex & the City? No, absolutely not. Do I really enjoy catching the current episodes of The Walking Dead, New Girl, and Parks & Rec? Yes! Recognize that there are some parts of your time suck habit that are more valuable than others – we’ll use this as we plan!
If you’re learning one thing about me, I hope its that I’m a habitual planner! I planned to black-out TV watching on certain days of the week and committed to staying current on a handful of shows. What plan can you put into action around your time suck?
Execute and Re-evaluate
Now, put your plan into action. Is it working? If yes, awesome! If not, don’t despair. Re-evaluate your plan and start over again. Go back to the drawing board as many times as necessary until you’re comfortable with how you’re spending your time.
Do you have a time suck? Share your plan to address it in the comments!