Back in June, I had an epiphany that TV was responsible for killing my productivity, so I cancelled my cable TV service. Wait, what? No TV?! No TV?!
One of the biggest things wrong with my life was that I simply never had enough time to get everything done both for my business and in my personal life. After I read a book called The Compound Effect, I realized that I did in fact have plenty of time, however, I was wasting it or using that time ineffectively. And TV was a huge time-suck.
Think about it. How much time do you spend watching TV? How much time do you spend watching TV that isn’t uplifting or impacts your mood in a negative way (Real Housewives anyone?!). How much time do you spend watching shows you’ve already seen (um, HGTV)? What would happen if instead of watching TV, you did other things, like read, write a blog, plan goals for yourself or your business? How much more would you get accomplished? In a day, a week, a month?
Don’t worry. There are plenty of things that I can watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime. And most importantly, all the mindless, stupid TV that I was watching before is not a part of those services. Oh, and I’m saving over $1,000/year by not paying for cable. Not too shabby.
The decision to cancel cable probably seems a little drastic to most of you. I’ll do my best to answer all the questions swirling around in your head right now…
How do I watch the news? –So here’s the thing about the news. Most of it doesn’t impact me or my business at all. A lot of news is depressing and irrelevant to what I’m trying to accomplish in my life. And as a bonus, I didn’t have to watch one political ad during Election Season. Do you wish you hadn’t watched any political ads in 2016? I’m sure you do.
When I cancelled cable, I cancelled my Wall Street Journal subscription as well, which was actually harder to adjust to than not having cable. I have the WSJ and NYT apps on my phone and have alerts set up, so if something big happens, I hear about it. WXII, one of our local news stations, has an app as well. Or I can log onto the WXII website and keep up with news and weather by watching live, which is what I did when tracking the recent snow storm we just experienced. And this is kind of interesting. I find that if it’s really important, someone will tell me about it. Who knew?!
Um, sorry. What about Fixer Upper? –Haha. I do love Fixer Upper. So, it turns out that a lot of HGTV shows are on Netflix including the first two seasons of Fixer Upper. The latest season of Fixer Upper is available on Amazon—you will have to pay for it, but at $24.99 for the season, you’re still coming out ahead from paying for a cable subscription.
What about sports? –I don’t watch that many games on TV. I’m either going to watch them in person—Go Deacs!—or going to a friend’s house to watch with a group. Not a big loss there. But last time I checked, ESPN had plenty of apps. And it’s kind of amazing to see what people have to say about games live on Twitter.
What about HBO, Showtime, etc? –I really like the show Billions, so eventually I’m going to break down and buy access to Showtime on Amazon which is $8.99/month after a 7-day free trial (this would include access to all Showtime shows and movies each month—pretty good deal compared to what the cable company charges). But the second season isn’t out yet, so I’ll save my money until it is.
What I’m trying to say, is there are plenty of things for me to watch without having to pay for cable TV. And since I can’t just mindlessly turn on the TV, sit down and scroll through the channels—I actually have to figure out what to watch, with intent—I’m not accidentally wasting hours and hours watching shows I don’t even like or put me in a bad mood. If I chose to binge-watch something, I’ve made the decision to binge-watch because I’m interested in watching and I’m good with it.
What am I doing with all this extra time? Well, I’m writing this blog, working on my business, spending more time with friends and reading—I’m a big reader. Here’s what I’ve been reading in the past few months.
The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy: I recommended this book in a previous post because it literally changed my life. I even bought a copy for everyone on my Team as a Holiday gift and I’m pretty sure most of them have read it. This book is all about making small changes that “compound” to effect bigger more amazing changes. And it really works. Anyways, get this book immediately, if not sooner. Read it. Implement just one suggestion—after all it’s called The Compound Effect. See what happens. I’m going to keep talking about The Compound Effect in my blog, so you should probably just break down and buy it—then read it.
How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie: This book is amazing. I wish I had read it years ago. It’s an especially good read for this time of year (January) since we tend to be more receptive to change and making better choices. In the book, Carnegie, discusses many topics including how to make a good first impression, how to criticize other people without them hating you, how to become a good conversationalist and many more. It really all boils down to listening to others and The Golden Rule. Who doesn’t need a reminder to do unto others as you would have others do unto you?
The Bourbon Empire, Reid Mitenbuler: I love bourbon. But this book is about more than liquor. It’s a book about business, marketing and plenty of American history sprinkled in.
Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home: Domino Magazine was the best magazine on home décor and style that no one knew about—which is why it stopped being published back in 2008 or 2009. Oops. It has since come back as a quarterly publication. For a long time, I could only find it at Lowe’s Home Improvement stores, but now you can actually subscribe to it. Yea! Since I want to buy a home this year, I’m enjoying flipping through this book as well as Domino: The Book of Decorating (which I already own) to stay inspired and excited about this impending HUGE purchase.
SUCCESS Magazine: I used to just pick up a copy of this when I was at the airport. But a few months ago, I bit the bullet and bought a subscription. Each magazine includes a CD, which is great to listen to in the car. If you believe that surrounding yourself with successful people leads you to being successful, then this magazine is for you. I always pick up some great ideas from each issue. Warning: If you are in the fitness industry, like I am, you will find the articles and “tips” about working out and eating healthy super-cheesy and lame. But you have to keep in mind that most people don’t prioritize their health like we do—or make a living promoting health. Drink another green juice and be glad you’ve got one less area of your life to worry about.
There you have it. All the topics and things I’ve been filling my head with instead of bad TV shows including The Real Housewives and the seemingly limitless stream of House Hunter reruns.
In my next post, I’ll give you a list of my favorite podcasts, one of which, just gave me a list of some amazing books to read. And the circle continues!
Until then, stay on your toes!