The other day, in his post, When Everyday Life Gets in the Way of Your Dreams – And A Plan To Get Past It on the Simple Dollar blog, Trent included among his tips for getting a dream off the ground, this advice:
Turn off the television. This is the single best move I’ve made in terms of giving me the freedom to work towards my dreams. Instead of draining my brain in front of the television for a few hours each night, I instead do other things that are more fulfilling and much more in line with my big dreams.
This is great advice. I’d like to expand on it a bit by looking at the actual numbers:
- There are 24 hours in the day.
- If you sleep 8 hours a night, then that leaves 16 waking hours.
- Let’s say you work an 8 hour day, and it takes you a half hour to get to work, and another half hour to get home. That’s 9 hours. Subtracting 9 hours from your 16 waking hours leaves 7 waking hours.
- In the morning, let’s say you spend an hour having breakfast and getting ready. That leaves 6 waking hours.
- In the evening, let’s say you spend an hour eating dinner and unwinding from your day at work. That leaves 5 waking hours.
- You probably have other things to attend to in the evenings, such as paying the bills, playing with your kids, or taking the dog for a walk. Let’s say you spend an hour on such things. That leaves 4 waking hours.
Four waking hours to do with as you please.
Now, according to the A.C. Nielsen Company, the average American adult watches nearly five hours of television per day. If you are average, then that means you’re spending all your precious remaining waking hours each workday watching television. How many hours are left over for working on making your dreams a reality? Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Do I think television is evil? No. Do I have a “Kill Your Television” bumpersticker on my car? No. I think there’s a ton of great programming on television. I also think it’s nice, sometimes, to relax and watch a show. On the other hand, would I sacrifice working on things that are meaningful and rewarding to me and align with my life goals just to zone out in front of the tv? Not a chance.
If you have unfulfilled dreams — such as: writing a novel, starting a home business, traveling the world, or learning to play a musical instrument — consider how much time you could create to work toward that goal if you cut down, or cut out, television. If you gain 5 hours a day every week day, that’s 25 hours a week or 100 hours every month.
If your dream energizes you, as dreams tend to do, then — take it from me — you can get an amazing amount of stuff done in 100 hours. Give it some thought!