Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Challenge: No TV For A Month

Posted in Personal Development by elephanthunters on April 2, 2010

What would your life look like if you gave up TV for a month?

Seth Godin recently challenged me to give up television altogether because there are so many other things better than TV.

I was already on the verge of doing this, but his post on this idea gave me the gumption to go ahead and pull the plug.  So we called the satellite company and cut it off.  All the way off…no basic cable, no major network channels.  Zero TV in the house.

And I’m still breathing

Not only has life gone on without TV, it has improved.  A lot.  I discovered that I was spending more time watching TV than I would have cared to admit.  I suppose most people talk about TV consumption the same way they talk about debt:  “I don’t have any debt…just a car loan and a few credit cards.”

Since we cut off the TV:

  • My wife and have have had more conversations
  • I have read more non-fiction literature than I ever have in my life
  • I took my daughter on an impromptu walk to the creek
  • I sat on my porch and watched the cars go by
  • I bought a high end stereo system, and gave my iTunes playlists a makeover

It’s changing me.  It’s making me better.

The Challenge

Give up TV for the month of April. After the big dance is over on Monday night just unplug the TV.  You don’t have to cancel it altogether, and if you hate it after a month, then just turn it back on…at least you’ll be able to say you tried it, and it wasn’t for you.

Why Not?

  • The weather is getting nice
  • College basketball is over
  • Major networks are starting to air reruns
  • There’s so many great things to do with your time

If you’re in:

Leave a comment on this post.  Commit.  You’re going to be tempted to read this and think – I don’t have to comment to do this…I’ll just do it on my own.  No you won’t.  You have to tell someone.  If you don’t comment here, then at least tell someone you know that you’re doing it.  Knowing they’ll ask you about it later will keep you committed to your goal.

I’ll check in and ask you to report occasionally on how it’s going.  I already heard one great story from Chris Mefford about his kids playing together more and having meaningful conversations after he recently cut off the TV. Dino Evangelista told me his family has been TV free for a year, and it’s the best thing he’s ever done.

I want to hear about all the great stuff you’re doing instead of TV.

Invite some friends…start a movement!

Retweet this, email it, talk it up!  Let’s put together a case study of how much meaningful productivity is increased for one month when a bunch of change agents get together and take action on a simple challenge:  Pull The Plug.

Already TV Free? Leave an encouraging comment for someone who’s not sure they’re ready to take on the challenge.

Update: 4/8/10

For you golf enthusiats…I guess this is cheating a little bit.  But it’s not technically TV, and it still falls in line with being an intentional consumer.  At least you won’t be tempted to leave it on all night when it’s over.

I’m sure I just lost some points with the wives who made their husbands get on board with this.  Sorry.  At least it’s over in 3 days.

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