It seems that 88% of all people watch television daily. On Showdates alone, our 778 members have watched 585 episodes of TV shows on average. Lets say that an average TV show is 30 minutes, that means 292,5 hours of passive entertainment.

I'm aways looking for ways to improve my productivity. One of the core principles of productivity is making good, valuable use of your time. Watching TV shows consumes a lot of time and as an experiment, I wanted to explore reasons for watching and quitting TV shows.

Pro quitting

1. Watching TV costs a lot of time

Possibly the best argument to at least trim the amount of stuff you are watching. Also, people who make shows are setting you up by carefully crafting episode and season endings to make you crawl back as quickly as you can.

2. There is not much to gain from watching TV shows

This depends greatly on the type of TV you are watching. Some people watch a lot of news-related stuff. I love fictional, action packed TV shows. They bring a lot of excitement.

3. No good legal alternative to illegal downloading

I quit watching TV shows from the 1th of january this year. At that time there really was (in my opinion) no good legal option for watching TV shows. As of september this year, this has changed with Netflix. Last month I've tried the service and I must say it works great. Not everything is on there, but they do have great content (House of Cards is awesome). However, my other arguments still stand and that is the reason why I won't continue to use Netflix as a service.

4. Spending quality time together != watching a movie or TV show

As we both have schedules that are filled up with lots to do, we need to figure out when to catch up with each other. Passively watching TV together does not help you get to know more of your better half.

5. TV shows are filled with stuff that is not for my eyes

This is not a very popular point of view, but I want to share it anyway. In my opinion, a lot of the shows I have watched are showing things you as a man should not watch. Shows like Game of Thrones contain a lot of scenes with half or fully naked women. As a man, it's easy to like scenes like that (and I do like to watch them, honestly). But deep down, is it really different from watching pornographic material? Are images like that helping you shape the future you want for yourself and possibly your relationship?

Pro watching

1. Great way to relax together

Although I don't think watching a movie or a TV show together equals quality time, it is a great way to explore new worlds and relax after a busy day. Viewing and discussing shows can help you to get to know each other on a deeper level.

2. Missing out on great shows

There are a couple of really good TV shows out there. Shows like Lost and 24 have the quality of a good movie but are so much more intense because of the length. I really miss that.

3. Developing Showdates is no real priority anymore

A personal reason why I miss watching shows is because of Showdates. Developing a platform like that takes a lot of time and energy. Because I'm not actively watching, I'm not an active user anymore.

So, what's next?

You need to decide for yourself, of course. Optimizing productivity will yield the most results when attacking your biggest time consumer. If you are watching a lot of movies or TV shows and you can't seem to find time to work on your personal projects, do the math!