a few rules for entertainment consumption

Lately, during summer time, I found myself gradually slipping and having an imbalance in my entertainment to education ratio. Due to certain emotional rollercoasters and getting back to a couple of streaming services for a limited time during my summer break, I ended up watching more and more shows and movies not only during the weekends, but also during weekdays. I had made certain rules for myself in the past, but now as I was experiencing occasional loneliness, insomnia, confusion, frustration and a few emotional setbacks, I found myself glued to the idiot box or you can say the idiot flat-screen again. 

Since last month, though, I have gotten a grip over my consumption and have had some strict rules for myself again in order to get the education to entertainment ratio balanced. I’ll be sharing these rules with you in case you’re going through a similar phase and would like to focus less on entertainment and save your time and attention to focus more on learning and other constructive activities.

Rule 1: Watching only one TV show episode (45 minutes – 1 hour) every week on Saturday

Rule 2: Watching only one movie every week on the weekend.

Rule 3: Watch a comedy show or anything that makes me laugh for around 20 minutes, no more than that, after dinner during weeknights (5 days a week)

Rule 4: On days off, instead of watching a TV show episode, a movie or any other mindless content, if I’m at home, I’ll only watch something educational such as a documentary movie or series, inspiring talks or anything that helps me accrue knowledge and/or wisdom. 

Does this slow the rate at which I watch and finish my TV seasons? You bet. Does this decrease the number of movies I’ll be watching every month or every year? Absolutely. But these rules have been working great for me so far. I’ve never been a binge-watcher but with these guidelines, I’ve become even more deliberate and conscious of what kind of shows and movies I consume. I’m basically looking for more quality hence making even my entertainment time worthwhile. 

I’ll be direct with you, I’m currently experiencing a surge in my YouTube consumption during late afternoons and evenings with regard to entertainment-oriented content in spite of my previous attempts to minimize it, but I’m working on finding a good solution for that as well. I’ll keep you posted.

So far, I have made these rules for myself as per my behaviors. Based on your entertainment “needs”, you can make rules that serve best for you. And if you’re really struggling, and have not been able to find a potent solution, try experimenting with the rules that I have mentioned above. You’ll not only be intentional with your entertainment consumption, but you’ll also ensure that it gives you the right kind of recreation and relaxation in a proportionate dose.   

The basic idea is not to get addicted to the flat-screens in our living rooms. These days with so much content being produced and so many streaming services available, it’s difficult to not get subdued by these digital temptations. But remember, you don’t have to watch it all. 

Don’t let the shiny screen and the flickering of light distract you from investing in yourself and doing things and activities that add value to your life and bring you profound joy. It’s just not worth it.