No TV and Productivity

Day 90 - Couch Potato
Creative Commons License photo credit: DaGoaty
I got rid of my TV before I went on my hike. Now that I have returned I’m going without a TV. You often read posts about all the things you could accomplish if you didn’t spend so much time watching television. So far I have used my extra time to surf the internet and read. And I have been watching DVDs (I watched the first season of “Dexter” last week which I really liked. I’ll have to watch the other seasons now.) on my laptop and TV shows on Hulu.com and other sites. You could say not having a TV has given me more time to watch television. Or should that be not having a television has given me more time to watch TV?

My point is (and I do have one) that if you are not getting things accomplished it probably isn’t just because you are watching too much TV. If I don’t waste time watching TV I waste it another way and I imagine that is true for a lot of people. My lack of productivity isn’t a matter of time it is a matter of motivation or you could call it a matter of laziness but I prefer to call it motivation. I am going to have to find something to get me motivated because there is a limit to how many hours of the day I can read and surf the internet.

Does anyone have any suggestions on getting motivated?

Time Tracking Results

I kept track of what I did with my time last week to see where I was wasting my time. I already knew before I started that I was wasting a lot of time on the Internet but now I know exactly how much time I’m wasting. I’m spending over four hours a day on average on the Internet. I do have a couple blogs and other sites on the Internet but most of the time I’m online I’m not doing anything productive. Until I am finished with my R&W I’m restricting myself to one hour a day online. I’m going to write my blog posts offline to the extent possible so I should still be able to keep up with my blogging.

I also like to eat leisurely lunches out and read the newspaper cover to cover. This might be a reasonable indulgence once every week or two but I’m doing this two or three times a week. I’m now restricting that activity to no more than once a week. That should make it a special treat and save me money and time.

The other big time waster is TV. I generally watch a couple of hours a day. This includes DVDs which I actually watch more than TV. I don’t plan to cut back on this activity for now because I think it is a reasonable use of my leisure time. I just have to work the rest of the day rather than making my whole day leisure time.

Keeping Track of My Time

In order to figure out where I am wasting all of my time I am going to keep track of what I’m doing for every hour of the day this Monday through Friday.  I already know I waste a lot of time on the Internet but maybe seeing exactly how much time I’m wasting will motivate me to make better use of my time.  It is possible that I might identify some other time wasters as well.  I really need to start being more productive.

On an unrelated note I took advantage of my 10 free eBay listings and put some stuff up for sale.  Probably could have selected some better stuff to sell but since the listings were free I just listed the first 10 items I found that I no longer want. Check out my eBay auctions.

Setting a Self-Imposed Deadline

Since returning to school for the fall semester I have not had a job choosing to make all my money online. The idea was that with my free time I could increase my online income to the point where it completely replaced my job income. I did make some initial progress in increasing my income but still fell well short of replacing my job income.

This semester I only have class one day a week. This results in me having even more free time than I did last semester which should translate into getting more done. I’ve found the opposite to be the result. I’m getting almost nothing done because I don’t feel any urgency to do anything. I am a habitual procrastinator and don’t usually start working on a project until I feel the pressure of a deadline. I all have day to get things done now I just keep putting them off until I decide to do them tomorrow. When tomorrow comes the cycle repeats itself.

My idea to solve this is to give myself one month to make a dramatic improvement in productivity or I’ll get a part time job. I’ll continue to do my work online, I would just do it around my job schedule. Maybe with this deadline I will force myself to be more productive.

If anyone has any suggestions, tips, tricks, hacks, blog posts, etc. on how to increase productivity, increase motivation, or reduce procrastination I would like to hear about them.

Festival of Frugality and Blog Update

I apologize for not posting much lately.  I’ve been feeling unmotivated lately.  I promise I will have a real post tomorrow.  In the meantime here are some links for you to enjoy.

My post “Five things you should get for free” was included in last week’s Festival of Frugality that was hosted at Credit Withdrawal.  This post was picked up by the MSN Smart Spending blog which resulted in my recieving a ton of traffic and overlooking linking back to the Festival before now.

Free time does not translate to massive productivity” at Brip Blap.  This post is true for me as well.  I was getting more done when I was working than I am now when I have lots of free time.

The War of Art” at The Simple Dollar.  This book is one I definitely need to read.  It is about overcoming the resistance you feel when taking on something challenging.  This could be helpful when it comes to my writing and several other areas.  I like writing and I have plenty of ideas of things to write about yet I have a hard time making myself write.  I’m hoping this book will help me change that.

Also I want to give a big Thank You to Pinyo of Moolanomy for helping me burn a feed for the Frugal Blog Network.