Reclaiming lost time

I’ve nearly convinced myself of a way to reclaim lost time that I’ve been complaining about lately. I’m not 100% certain I can go through with it yet, and it is with some degree of trepidation that I make the decision, but I have nearly decided and so I might as well spell it out here.

I’m going to give up regular TV.

This doesn’t mean I’m getting rid of my television sets, although I have considered that to some extent because once I give up TV, I really have no need for a TV set. It is actually more practical than it sounds for several reasons:

First, I currently watch 8 show a week, totally in the neighborhood of 10 hours of television (if you don’t count commercials). I didn’t have a TV, I would not be able to watch those shows in the same way, and I would spend more time on things like reading and writing.

Second, most (but not all) of the shows that I do watch are available for download online and if I wanted to see them, I could watch them online either via the network website, or by downloading episodes through the iTunes store. I could also simply buy the season on DVD once the season is over and watch the show that way, too.

Third, I can watch DVD movies on either of my computers and have no need for either a DVD player or a television to watch them.

TV has gotten to be a time sync, even with TiVo, and I’m not sure that I am disciplined enough to avoid coming home and vegging on the cough in front of the television for a few hours when I could be doing something like reading or writing. It is, however, a tough decision. There would be shows that I miss, particularly shows on HBO. Then again there are the baseball games that I will miss, and perhaps other things of interest. But as it is, I’m not much of a TV browser and I stick to those few shows that I enjoy, so maybe this isn’t a big deal.

Furthermore, I know people who have done this and are happier because of it.

Finally, we all have a limited supply of time to do those things that we want to do each day. We have to prioritize. I enjoy my daily workouts, and I’d like to be able to read and write more than I am currently able to do. Sacrificing television, removing it from the equation would help me to focus on those things that I give higher priority.

This isn’t a rash decision, I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time now, but it is a tough decision nonetheless. In any event, I don’t plan on making a final decision until after the current television season is over, sometime in May. But I am leaning towards getting rid of TV for a while. Stay tuned…

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.