Let's talk about things to do instead of watching tv! There’s nothing wrong with kicking back and catching up on your favorite shows, but too much of anything is unhealthy.
Television consumption usually doesn’t require much cognitive effort and it’s a way of shutting down rather than being productive and getting things done.
If you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day, you could get more done if you found out what to do instead of watching tv!
25 Fun and productive things to do instead of watching tv
Rather than spending your free time in front of the television, be more intentional with your time to make the most of it. Here are 25 fantastic things to do instead of watching tv:
Take some time to journal and get your thoughts and ideas out onto paper. Journaling helps to clear your mind and may even bring about new ideas and goals.
It is also a great way to decompress. If you need some inspiration, check out these 60 journal prompts for self-discovery!
2. Read a book
Whether you’re reading something educational or getting lost in a novel, reading is a great alternative to watching television. Reading non-fiction gives you the opportunity to learn or improve upon something.
Reading fiction opens up your imagination and provides a deeper, less superficial form of entertainment. So read a good book during your free time!
3. Go for a walk
Being out in nature is beneficial for your physical and mental health. You’ll get the benefits of movement and exercise while also giving yourself time to think without too much external stimulation.
You may even discover things that you may not have noticed or paid attention to in your neighborhood.
And if you're up for it, a hike is a fun idea for weekends or after work in the summertime. The fresh air and exercise will keep you from wondering what to do instead of watching tv.
4. Go for a drive
Maybe there’s an area in your city that you’ve been longing to explore. Get out of the house and drive around!
Go somewhere that’s new to you and familiarize yourself with the area. You may uncover some hidden gems and find some other things to do instead of watching tv.
5. Spend time with your friends
Host a dinner party or game night to spend some quality time with your best friends. Enjoy some time being social and conversing with others.
Being isolated can be overwhelming, and seeing and spending time with your friends can be a better alternative to watching movies alone.
6. Complete projects around your house
There may be some home improvement projects, either big or small, that you have started or want to start. If you're wondering what to do instead of watching tv, get to work on those projects.
You may have put them off due to a lack of energy or time. Make some time to complete them by cutting back on your tv time.
7. Deep clean and organize your home
You can then donate or sell those items at a garage sale or online to free up space in your home. You may even find things that you do need or want that were misplaced in the clutter.
You can even take the time to organize your closet and who knows, you might discover new outfit ideas you didn't consider before.
8. Listen to music
Pull up your favorite albums or playlists and listen to the music that you love. Some of this music may be tied to memories that spark and inspire conversations.
Listen to music from certain eras of your life, and allow it to inspire thoughts and feelings from that point in time.
Take some time to belt out and dance to your favorite tunes. The music may also make you feel productive and help you get other things done.
9. Learn something new
When it comes to achieving your goals, increasing your knowledge or learning a new skill may be a big part of the necessary work.
Maybe there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn but you’ve never had the time to do it. Like learning to play an instrument, learning how to cook, or finding out how to invest and be better with your money.
Putting some time into your education is one of the most useful things to do instead of watching tv. Discovering something new not only increases your knowledge and skills but also gives you the opportunity to experience new things.
10. Practice meditation
Turn inward and bring your awareness to the present moment via meditation. Meditation will relax your mind and can clear your brain of racing thoughts.
It also improves your mental health and self-awareness which can help you be more productive and work towards achieving your goals.
11. Improve your finances
Instead of watching tv, spend some time working on tasks that will improve your finances. Set financial goals or make a written plan to meet the goals that are already in place.
Take a few moments to create or update your budget so that you’ll have more control of your money and where it's going.
Use this time to improve your knowledge of personal finance. You can research and read about financial management, budgeting, investing, etc. with your time not spent watching television.
12. Make more money
One of the most beneficial things to do instead of watching tv is to make more money! If you have a side hustle, put some work in to bring in more extra cash. If you don’t already have a side hustle, take this opportunity to start one.
There are several different ways to bring in extra income such as blogging, starting a business, passive income streams, selling on Amazon or Etsy, and joining the gig economy. Cut back on tv to do something that will bring in extra money.
13. Volunteer your time
Take some time away from the tv to volunteer and make a difference. Find a cause that you’re passionate about and volunteer to help out.
Volunteering is also a great way to socialize and meet new people while doing your part!
14. Rest and relax
We spend a lot of our day mentally stimulated in one way or another. How often do you get some time to relax and just be without any sort of stimulation?
Resting is one of the most productive things to do instead of watching tv. Yes, rest is productive.
Your mind and body aren’t meant to always fire on all cylinders, so resting is a cheat code to help you be more productive. Instead of watching tv, just relax and do nothing for a little while.
15. Get more sleep
Cut back on tv in favor of getting more sleep. If you’re watching a show or movie late at night while the day is winding down, you’re cutting into the time that you have to sleep. Turn off the tv and get some rest instead.
Watching tv when you’re about to go to sleep increases external stimulation and you may get caught up and continue watching even if you told yourself that you would only watch an episode or two.
Limit yourself to how much tv you watch before bed, and set a time when you turn off the tv and go to sleep.
16. Find new hobbies
If you find that you're spending your time watching too much television, it's a great time to find a new hobby. Take up rock climbing, write poetry, try a craft like learning how to knit, or do any other fun things you can think of.
And even better, get a friend or two to start a new hobby with you. That way you can be social and try a new hobby at the same time.
17. Listen to some podcasts
Trading Netflix for podcasts is a great idea! You can laugh and be entertained, or find out more about a subject you care about.
So next time you're tempted to reach for the remote, grab your headphones and tune in to a podcast instead.
18. Take a class
When you're wondering what to do instead of watching tv, you can try out a class for a subject that you find interesting. Whether that's painting, writing a book or freelancing, or playing piano, you'll gain a new skill.
And taking a class, either online or in person, can introduce you to a whole new network of people. You may find people to cheer you on in your career, finances, and life.
19. Cook or bake something
Try out a new recipe or two instead of watching television. Go shopping, or see what you have in the fridge or pantry and work with that.
It'll get you off the couch and instead, you've discovered a fun way to spend an hour or two. And who knows? Maybe you have a hidden cooking talent you didn't even know about!
20. Work out
A workout at the gym or at home is the perfect thing to add to your evening routine. You might take up running, tennis, a yoga class, or other fitness activity.
The point is to get moving and find a good alternative to tv. As a bonus, you'll likely feel better and be healthier.
21. Start a garden
Spend time outdoors in the fresh air by starting a garden. If you have a lot of space, you might try growing tomatoes and other plants that take up a lot of room.
But even if you don't have a yard, you can still create a small herb garden in a window box or even indoors. You can make watering and care for your garden part of your daily routine instead of tv.
22. Go to a local event
Find out what's happening in your city and go check out an event. A concert, restaurant opening, or some other fun activity is a great way to get out of the house and do something interesting.
Invite friends or family to join you to make it even more fun!
23. Visit an art gallery, museum, or the library
To find out what to do instead of watching tv, check out the interesting places in your town or city.
Visit an art gallery, or try out a museum for a fun and educational experience. Or you can always visit the library and check out some books.
24. Take a bike ride
A bike ride is a fantastic way to get some exercise and explore your town. You can even take some friends or family with you and make it an adventure by bringing along a picnic.
You can start out with an easy path, or if you're an expert bike rider, challenge yourself with a more difficult trail instead.
25. Spend time with a pet
Instead of sitting around, take your dog out in the backyard for a game of frisbee, or teach your pet a new trick. Not only do you get to spend quality time with your pet, but pets also lower your stress levels.
Try these fun and productive ideas when wondering what to do instead of watching tv!
Watching too much television can cause you to be antisocial, unproductive, and anxious, among other things.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying tv, but too much of it has proved to have some unhealthy consequences and can be detrimental to achieving your goals.
Rather than spending several hours in front of the tv each day, there may be better ways to spend and maximize your time.