The Life Experimenter : Change Your Life, One Month at a Time

Life Experiment #50 – Limit TV Viewing To An Hour A Day

By Allen Rinehart


TV is something I’m constantly trying to do less of.  I’ve actually tried to give it up twice already (Trial #1, Trial #2).  And while I did reap some positive benefits from less TV time during those months, when I’m done with the month trial I always end up back right where I started.  I don’t think that a little tube time is bad.  There is actually a lot of great content out there that can teach you a lot, the problem is limiting the total time.  This month I’M limiting myself to one hour a day.

Hypothesis: I believe that limiting the total time I watch TV will make me more aware of the habit and eventually watch it less and less.  I know there’s a lot of positive things to be gained by less video time.

Using Technology To Control Tube Time

I was inspired to try this out after realizing how effective the Pact app was at getting me to workout.  I watch 100% of television or “online video” through my computer.  Since I live overseas, this is pretty much the only way I can view American television. And when I say television, I mean any video streamed over the Internet or watched on a computer including online video sites like Youtube, DVDs, and regular TV shows streamed through the Internet.  I actually don’t even own a TV or have cable.

I found a great extension for Google Chrome called StayFocusd.  The plug-in allows you to limit the total time you spend on a list of websites of your choosing.  After that limit is reached, it blocks any attempt to navigate to those pages.  I popped in my favorite video sites including obvious time wasting sites like Facebook and YouTube and my timer began.  Day one has already proven to be super productive.  Instead of my usual vegging out in front of the screen, my timer hit its hour limit and I started cleaning my room, did a little exercise and write this post.  Join me this month in tuning in and turning off your TV!

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
-Groucho Marx

Photo Credits: Flickr

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