I’ve tried a lot of crazy things over the years to increase my productivity. I’ve used apps that will block me from sites like Facebook. I’ve had an accountability partner that calls me everyday to make sure I’ve completed my daily habit.
But when I look back over the past three years of my life, it’s clear that the single hack that has had the biggest impact by far, has been to stop watching TV.
The average American watches 5 hours of TV per day. With the time that I would have other otherwise spent watching TV, I now do things that will make me more happy, productive, or healthy.
Instead of staying up late watching TV, I fall asleep earlier.
Instead of going home to watch TV, I spend time with friends.
Instead of watching TV while I’m home, I read, listen to podcasts, or just take time to think.
People often ask me how to find time to write. The answer is simple: you prioritize it over the other activities you’re currently filling your time with. For many people, TV is a low hanging fruit.
People often worry about cutting out Facebook, or habit tracking apps. They will help, but of the 100 things you could change, TV is one that will probably increase your productivity 99% more than the 99 others.
I wish there was an easier, more fun, way to increase productivity. I haven’t been able to keep up in conversations about Made Men or Game of Thrones. But the reality is, quitting TV has been the best productivity hack I’ve ever tried.