Primetime Power Hour: From TV to ME

“I don’t have time.”

That’s probably the biggest creative killer. Don’t have the time. Don’t have the right space. The right utensils. Inspiration.

When it comes down to it — it’s a matter of choice. Like Patti Digh said in “Creative is a Verb”, we are always in choice. She also believes that complaining about it takes up as much time as getting started. Funnel your energy elsewhere.

Theatre is life. Cinema is art. Television is furniture. ~Author Unknown

What would you do with an extra hour in your day? What about 40 of them?

A recent article featured on MSN Money revealed that “according to Nielsen, Americans spend an average of nearly 41 hours a week, or about 5.5 hours a day, watching content across all screens. People spend more than 34 of those hours in front of a TV.”

Simply put, Americans’ work a second job from the comfort of their couch or tuning out to YouTube. If you are honest with yourself, how much time do you spend in front of the TV.

Is it as easy as turning off the TV? Business and entrepreneur magazines says so. While this is a handy and true tip, they’ve left out one crucial step.

While pushing the power button on the boob tube will afford you more time in the day, what do you fill it with? Replacing the TV with an “i-product” or video game isn’t the answer. Cleaning the fireplace or tackling your file system (also known as stacking things in the corner) isn’t the most fulfilling use of your time.

The truth of it is that it is our creative projects or projects of passion that dim the allure of the television set. It comes down to what you enjoy doing and what you want to accomplish.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? It is vital to have a project, idea, passion or goal prior to shutting off the tube. This can be gardening, painting, bike rides, time with your loving other half, writing the great American novel or even mastering the fine art of baked goods. This is your chance to hone yourself as a creative, focus on you and challenge yourself.

I haven’t had an actual television since 2010.  I do watch about three to six hours a week of television — depending on if it’s hockey season or not. I watch one or two episodes from Netflix. That is it. My evenings are filled with:

  • Writing (my passion. I create around 8 blogs a week)
  • Reading (I read about one book a week)
  • Game nights with my other half
  • Skype or one-on-one interactions with friends and family

Aren’t sure what it is you want to do? The easiest way to find your passion button, according to “Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success” author Richard Shell, is to ask yourself the lottery question:

Imagine you’ve won the lottery, and money no longer is a primary motivator. Your family is now taken care of, and you’ve earned a certain amount of notoriety by having the winning ticket. What would you do next in your life?”

Pay attention to the first thing that pops into your head. In fact, write it down on a Post-It, index card or a pub napkin. That is where your true heart lies. That is what you want to be doing. And, I guarantee it wasn’t “watch more television.”

You have found the time, found what you want to do with it and now all that remains is to turn TV time into ME TIME. Schedule your crafting hour, writing time or kitchen blowout during regular watching time.

The only real way to be creative is to create. Create relationships. Create bonds. Create cards. Create blogs. Create adorable sock puppets. Tap into your inner muse and relinquish the remote.

The key is to get started. One day at a time. Life is incremental and what you do today is a building block for tomorrow.

Good luck!

Resources:

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