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Extract: If we want to get more done, we need to start a war with our televisions

Watching television eats up your valuable time when you could be doing so much more with your life. It’s time to wrestle control back from that box in the corner of the living room, writes Ruth Field.

Ruth Field aka The Grit Doctor had great success with her previous book, Run Fat Bitch Run. Her latest book, Get your Sh!t together, is giving advice on how to figure out what you want from life and ultimately how to get more done in less time. In this extract from her book she talks about how the TV has made us all procrastinators. She writes:

TWO OF OUR biggest enemies, the two weapons of mass destruction in the war against shit togetherness, are telly and hand-held devices. Your television set, or two, are your primary time thieves. Television is the arch-enemy of GYST (Get your Sh!t together). Whenever you hear yourself thinking (because of course you will never be heard to utter these words again), ‘I don’t have time’, ask yourself immediately the following questions:

1. Who do I want to win Strictly?

2. Who is my favourite judge on The X Factor and which contestant would I most like to see suffering a nervous breakdown on stage?

3. Could Mr Bates, in fact, be a baddie?

If you can even understand any of the above questions, you are giving away far too much of your most precious resource – time – to a square box in the corner of your living room that will give you nothing back in return. If you are in denial at this juncture because you don’t watch these programmes, then ask yourself if you still knew the answers.

If you did, chances are you’ve been reading trashy magazines. Shame on you. Or worse still, found yourself discussing a TV show you haven’t even seen with another human being! You what? This is some of the lowest-grade chat that exists and must be stamped out.

Televisions are time thieves

For those of you who are feeling completely lost reading this section of the book and haven’t a clue about the answers to any of the questions above, you can give yourselves a pat on the back and skip this section. Anyone who could answer all three questions with confidence is giving away up to one full day a week to the principal time thief.

And I bet you find yourself saying ‘I don’t have time’ all the time. The point of this rant is this: we will always find time to watch telly. No matter how busy we are, or how much we have going on, how stressed we feel, how urgent the project is or how long we have delayed it, we will still find time to watch telly and we are all in a state of permanent denial about it.

Anyone who doesn’t watch any telly at all would almost certainly have no reason to read my book because I guarantee that they have got their shit together.

Just think about what you could be doing

Just think how many ‘shelves’ we could get nailed during just one weekend’s X Factor/Strictly session. Anyone who says they don’t have time to exercise, I challenge you to ask yourself whether you were planning to sit down at any stage this evening to watch television. If the answer is yes, then bingo: that is your exercise time.

It all boils down to the simple fact that there is always time to do the things we choose to do. Always. At the time of writing, The X Factor is on for about five hours every weekend. And yes, I have been watching it. And yes, I hate myself for it.

(Via little, brown Book Group)

Ruth Field aka The Grit Doctor is a criminal barrister and bestselling author of ’Run Fat Bitch Run’. Her new book,’Get Your Shit Together‘ is published by little,  brown Book Group and is out now.

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