Previously in this Simplify Your Life series, we’ve found ways to:
- Simplify Your Closet (What Not To Wear)
- Simplify Your To-Do List (What Not To Do)
- Simplify Your Life (What Not To Buy).
This time, let’s turn to simplifying something which, for many people, is already in pretty short supply: leisure time.
Simplify Your Leisure: What Not To Watch
Most of us are busy and many of us are stressed. Our leisure time is precious, a way to refresh, rejuvenate and restore ourselves.
Yet it’s common to squander our limited and important leisure watching television shows or movies that leave us feeling like we’ve wasted our time.
With a little thought and planning, however, you can make sure this never happens to you again.
You can make a mental or written list to ward off poor choices when you’re at the video store or the movies. You can also use your list to stock up on DVDs to buy, so you’re never at the mercy of whatever’s on TV.
The usual caveat applies: Please don’t use this list to shut yourself off from new experiences or get stuck in a rut of the same old same old. Rather, use it to focus your free time on entertainment choices likely to be the most rewarding for you – whether you’re after laughter, distraction, education, inspiration, shock or a thrill.
So let’s make life a little simpler and leisure time more enjoyable by creating a don’t-watch list.
My ‘What Not To Watch’ List
To help you think about you list, I’m sharing things I generally don’t watch; I’ve learned from experience that they don’t satisfy me. Of course, this list is personal – your list will reflect your own likes and dislikes.
- Movies at the movies. I’m too easily distracted by people’s cell phones, chatter, crunching (although I do plenty of my own ) and kiddies. I have more fun waiting for the DVD and making my own cinema experience.
- ‘Live’ TV. I get impatient with the ads and dislike losing the flow of the show. So I only watch TV shows I’ve recorded, or borrowed/bought on DVD.
- Blockbuster-style shows where the story is made up along the way. (Don’t wanna run the risk that 172 episodes later it turns out to have been somebody’s dream. )
- Reality shows, including cooking, singing, dancing, and all forms of amateur play-offs.
- Sports shows.
- TV shows that aren’t well written (you can tell within 5 minutes).
- Horror movies – too suspenseful for me!
- Anything with ‘harrowing’ in the description.
- Quaint detective stories (Agatha Christie is the exception). I like my crime gritty and The-Wire-esque.
Your ‘What Not To Watch’ List
Now it’s your turn. Consider:
- Movie genres you don’t find entertaining
- Directors or actors whose movies you usually dislike
- TV shows that leave you stressed, anxious or irritated
- Reality TV shows
- Broad comedies
- Movies that are violent
- Movies that are cutesy.
With a don’t-watch list, you’ll be less vulnerable to the same old mistakes at the movies and the video store.
And if you do like to unwind in front of the TV, I recommend you stock up on DVDs – whether you buy or borrow them from the library or video store.
By pre-vetoing certain movie and TV choices that have a high likelihood of being duds, you’ll make your leisure time more enjoyable. And your life simpler.
[Image: by fauxto_digit]