Yes, It's Okay to Watch Television

productivity Jun 30, 2019

Telling you that it's okay to watch television may seem like an odd title for an article. I mean, what?

But coming from someone like me - a productivity expert?

Well, that's just silly. Why would I basically give you permission to watch television and be unproductive?

Because the television is not the problem. You are.

Yes, I said it. You're the problem.

Time to start taking responsibility, my friend.


When people find out I'm a productivity expert, they expect me to say things like "don't watch television" and "plan every minute of every day on purpose." Stuff like that.

It's not bad advice in and of itself but there are times when you can and should break "the rules".

However, having said that, watching television is not okay for everyone.

Let me explain...

If you watch television to escape the work you should be doing, then it's not a good idea to watch it.

Or play video games.

Or go to the movies.

Or hang out with your friends.


Do what you need to do already!


If you've worked hard, and by working hard I mean you've done what you really needed to get done for the day/week, then go ahead and watch television. Enjoy!

I watch television guilt-free after I've put in a hard days' work.

When I watch the Houston Texans, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (college football) or one of my favorite shows (I love The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and even Caught in Providence - which has helped me become a better driver!), I don't feel guilty because I know I've earned the right to watch them. All I have to do is pull out my High Performance Planner, which I highly recommend, and there it is in writing: what I've done in order to be able to watch whatever I want to guilt-free.

Side note: with the exception of live sporting events, I don't watch shows live. We have a TiVo which records shows and lets us skip commercials. Also, my wife and I don't have satellite or cable nor do we subscribe to Netflix or Hulu. All our programming is over the air (thank you, Mohu!). And we only have one television in our house.


I'm not going to tell you whether or not you should watch television. But what I want to encourage you to do is consider these questions:

  1. How much television do you really watch every day/week? Don't guess. Not what you THINK. Honestly track your television watching for a week (you'll be amazed - numbers don't lie).
  2. Are you watching television (playing video games, hanging out with friends, etc.) guilt-free? Or do you have an unsettling feeling in your mind because you know you haven't had a productive day/week?
  3. Would reading a book (not Facebook or a blog post) be a better way to spend your time? How much do you read every day? I read a minimum of 30 minutes every day - often more. And I always get my reading in before I watch television.


Whether you think it's okay to watch television or not is a personal choice.

What do you want out of life? Just to do the minimum amount of work and then just chill? Well, then watch all the television you want.

But if you want to be a high performer, then choose how you will spend your time.

Watching some television is okay. Just be sure you're getting done what really needs to be done.

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