Many years ago I started doing my MBA course. I was working full time, setting up and running social enterprises in Edinburgh, and I had to work lots of evenings. I didn’t want to give up my friends and my social life, and I still wanted to go to the pub. I knew that I was going to have to study 10-12 hours per week, on top of the 50-60 I was already working. Something had to give.
I asked around other MBA students who were already doing the course. One woman told me she got up at 5am to do 2 hours studying before getting her kids to school and then going to work. I knew this wasn’t going to be for me. A couple said that they spent all weekend studying – again, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to resist going out to play, but that I could spend Sunday afternoons (the most boring time of the week) on the books.
And then someone said that they’d given up TV, and it had freed up enough time to study. So I looked at how I spent my week, and thought about what programmes I actually enjoyed watching. I decided that I would tape those programmes; this was a while ago, so I was recording ER and the West Wing on video tape.
And I’ve hardly ever watched live TV ever again. I have no idea what happens in East Enders, and I run away from the living room shrieking if I know Come Dine With Me is on. I record (now on my DVR) some quality drama, comedy to cheer me up, and some films. When you include films, I probably watch about 5-10 hours of TV a week, but it’s all things I actually want to watch, and I’ll actively enjoy.
Apparently, average TV viewing in the UK is 30 hours per week. I’ll leave it to you to decide how much of my extra time I spend on running my business, how much on reading novels and business books, and how long I spend in the pub……