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How many nicknames can you think of for your television set? There’s the ‘boob tube’ and the ‘idiot box’. It has been labeled the electronic babysitter. I’ve even seen it described as the ‘electronic plague’ and the ‘downfall of civilization’.
Now, I don’t want to just pick on television. I’m simply using it as an example of one of the many ways we waste valuable time. You can substitute any of a number of low value pursuits in its place but TV is probably the worst offender.
Think about how much time you spend watching TV every day. Now consider exactly what you watch and what value that has in helping you to be more successful. If you watch the news every day, you are getting bombarded by one negative story after another. It’s hard to stay positive when you are constantly subjecting yourself to such negativity.
Regular programming isn’t much better. They are filled with murder and mayhem; infidelity and con games. Even the comedies are escapes from reality and bear little resemblance to the world we live in. These distorted views of reality do nothing to prepare us to be more successful in the real world.
Even watching sports can have a negative effect on us. People rarely maintain a positive attitude when their chosen team loses and then they compound the issue by spewing their negativity at work the next day.
Is the solution to throw your TV away? Well, it might be for some but probably not for most of us. The answer is two-fold. First, choose what you view wisely. Try to eliminate the worst of the negativity and find shows presented in a more positive way. Learn something by watching cooking or gardening or home improvement shows. Broaden your mind with educational shows. Strengthen your spirit with religious and inspirational program. Watch smarter.
And, of course, the other solution is to watch less. If you watched 1 hour less of TV every day, you gain 7 hours a week. That’s 52 hours a year; more than an entire work week of newly found time. Imagine what you could accomplish.
Let’s look at four positive ways to spend that extra hour each day to enhance your drive to success.
Read about how to be a better you and to be better at your job. Read about attitude, self confidence and about job skills. Read books, read trade journals and magazines in your chosen field and read everything you can find about your customers. There are some classic self-improvement books. Buy them and study them often.
Instead of listening to music or negative shock jock talk radio in your car, listen to experts helping you to be better and do your job better. Listening to their CDs can be relaxing and educational at the same time. Attend seminars and trade shows and learn from the leaders in your business. Ask your customers how you can improve and listen to their answers.
Find and talk with other like-minded individuals. Avoid those who always want to talk about problems and seek out those who discuss solutions. This may be in person but these days it may also be online. Social media can play a vital role in finding people who can help you become more successful. Write down you own thoughts – kind of an internal discussion.
Use your computer as an educational and informational tool, not a game console. Make sure the sources you are viewing and getting information from are reliable (they CAN put it on the Internet even if it isn’t true) but the amount of information available is staggering.
I confess. I was a couch potato. I had gotten to the point where I spent several hours each day watching television. What a waste. I was pumping my head full of negative stuff that affected my attitude and my life. It sucked the enthusiasm right out of me. It was a downward spiral.
I broke that spiral. I evaluated where I was and where I wanted to be and what it would take to get there. What I was doing wasn’t getting that job done. I set my goals and developed a plan to reach them. I decided what steps and what resources I would need and I scheduled my days with what I needed to reach those goals. I’m not there yet but I’m a long way from that guy on the couch.
I sort of feel like those weight loss or get rich quick late-night infomercials to write this but if I did it, so can you. Everyone who reads this can be more successful if they start investing more of their time in the most important person in the world – themselves. Start today and you will be amazed at how much better you can be.