No TV and Productivity

Day 90 - Couch Potato
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 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.