Hey new professionals, this article is specifically for you.
Working in mental health, I learn a lot about how technology affects us on a daily basis (it comes with being around counselors all day, not that I’m complaining). As a result, I have the fortunate/unfortunate pleasure of being inundated with information that has made me adjust my lifestyle in myriad ways.
One major way has to do with television. A few weeks ago, a colleague (who happens to be a licensed mental health professional) discussed the effects of television on our minds. What he told me was pretty troubling, but it made quite a bit of sense.
One of his major points was that television literally numbs your brain. It overloads your auditory and visual senses, effectively numbing the rest. Because most television is mindless (obviously there are exceptions), you’ll find yourself watching quite a bit of it without noticing.
If you’re like me, you’re initial response is, “What’s the big deal?”
Well, it’s pretty simple and I’m pretty sure I learned/forgot this in grade school. Watching too much television is really bad for you. Mind-blowing right?
Most of us get away with watching too much television in school because we did nothing but absorb information for tests. In the professional world, however, television inhibits you from being productive, which prevents you from accomplishing things and being successful.
Let’s say you watch television in the morning, as I used to do. This is the first thing you are doing that day, and you are essentially shutting your mind off. Then, you go to work and decide it’s time to turn your mind on again, but it’s already been set to focus on recreational activities. Do you see the dilemma?
When I go home, there are a lot of things I want to get done before it’s time to relax. I want to write blog articles, work on personal projects and exercise. I go straight to the TV, however, then I definitely won’t feel like doing any of those things until (maybe) midnight. My night is wasted.
If I still haven’t convinced you, let me impart my own personal experiment.
Starting last week, I decided to severely limit my TV usage. During the week, I haven’t watched any television when the sun is out, except for the news. I have only watched TV at night, when I’m relaxing or about to sleep. I’ve also limited that time set aside to just half an hour (or 40 minutes if it’s a longer program).
Before, I would watch a show in the morning, during my lunch break, and sometimes right after work. You’d think that changing things up would have made me feel uneasy, but it actually didn’t.
Instead of turning on the idiot box, I’ve been filling my time with better experiences. I’ve been reading more books, finding time to write articles like this one without feeling like it’s a chore, getting through my work week with significant ease and I’ve just had more time in general. Put simply, my life is much better with the TV turned off, and I think it would be for you, as well.
If you’ve already discovered this amazing truth that has eluded me for too long, please let me know what works for you and how you’ve found success in the wireless world.
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