I run at night. My wife works out in the mornings before I go to work so I can watch the kids and I work out at night after the kids go to bed. In these late night runs through our neighborhood I see one thing more consistently than anything else. People watching TV. Isn't it amazing how our obsession with TV stops us from achieving our dreams? Some people even feel that they have to watch TV in order to unwind and prepare for sleep.
The average American watches more than 10 hours per week of television. I don't need a calculator to figure out that is at least 520 hours of TV each year, which equates to about 22 days. Over the course of a year its amazing to consider that the average American watches enough TV to cover 22 full days. If you take out 8 hours a day for sleep then it would take 32.5 days to watch 520 hours of TV. Over a month each year!
Some television programming and movies are inspiring and educational. It can also be a good way for people to spend a little time together. Upon reflection however, couldn't you easily think of an activity that provides better education, inspiration, or a more effective way to spend time with the people you love?
In the next 12 months what could you achieve if I handed you an extra 32 days? What if you cut your “average” TV consumption from 10 hours per week to only 5 hours per week? What could you do with those 16 extra days in the next 12 months? Could you finish the basement? Could you start that business you've been thinking of? Could you climb a mountain, go on a vacation, build something with your children?
Time is not only a precious and limited resource its also an expendable one. We can never get it back after it goes by. The best stewards use their time as a tool to produce more value for more people. What will you do with your extra 32 days next year?