What to Do Instead of Watching TV – 30 Ideas to Enjoy Life

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There are some times in life when watching TV wouldn’t be the best use of your precious time. However, it may be hard to bring yourself to miss your favorite TV shows or think of things to do other than watching TV. Not to worry, our guide shows how to stop watching TV and has many ideas about what to do instead of watching TV.

Is Watching TV a Hobby?

In a survey, it was discovered that 70% of people had movie and TV show viewing as hobbies. Well, since people in that study claimed that those interests are part of (or are) their hobbies, then you should already know the answer to our question.

So is watching TV a hobby? Our answer is YES.

How to stop watching TV? Check these 30 ideas on what to do instead of watching TV. These alternatives to watching TV will help you enjoy. Click To Tweet

Why Do You Need to Stop Watching TV?

Why do you need to know things to do instead of watching TV? We have the answer to that question with enough studies to cite. According to various statistics, too much television viewing can make one become any or all of the following:

  1. Antisocial
  2. Anxious
  3. Depressed
  4. Extravagant
  5. Less intelligent
  6. Unhappy
  7. Unhealthy
  8. Unproductive
  9. More materialistic
  10. Obese
  11. Less likely to live long
  12. Weaker

Yikes! Those are really good reasons to know how to watch less TV. But hold on, there are more. Let’s see what it does to kids specifically. It makes them . . .

  • Less sharp
  • Less intelligent
  • More materialistic

There are many other reasons why you’d want to know how to stop watching TV. Sometimes, you might be bored watching TV. Other times, you might just feel like doing something else, so, you think of things to do instead of watching TV. Nonetheless, it might just be any or all of those reasons we mentioned earlier.

One study found that the average person watches television for over 4 hours 30 minutes daily. That’s a considerable amount of time considering if you were sleeping for an average of 7 hours each day. 7 plus 5 equals 12 hours—leaving you with 12 hours to do other things. Let’s not forget to subtract cooking, eating, and open-eye resting time from the above.

What about a study that showed that too much television use and DSM-IV criteria for substance use disorder share some significant characteristics. See the points on why you need to know the things to do besides watching TV in later sections.

How to Stop Watching TV?

Since you’ve been able to understand why you should seek alternatives to watching TV, the next thing would be to know how to stop watching TV. Check the 5 points below.

  • Ascertain how much time you spend on television viewing.
  • Understand the negative effects of television addiction to your life.
  • Learn how to stop watching TV or what to do instead of watching TV.
  • Visit a therapist that will help you overcome such a problem and live a more productive life.
  • Find your true self, discover your passion, and work towards a life goal.
  • Engage in regular exercise.
  • Replace Television watching with another hobby.
  • If none of the above seems to be working, GET RID OF YOUR TV!!!

Watch this YouTube video to learn more about how to stop watching TV:

How To Stop Watching TV And Its Addiction | OverallMotivation

What to Do Instead of Watching TV?

Ask yourself if you’re bored watching TV or if you just need to know other things to do besides watching TV. We’re at the main part of this guide to answer this ultimate question: What to do instead of watching TV. Here are 30 great options for you…

1. Bake

Baking means you’re active and it can be a therapeutic hobby for you. You’d enjoy doing it, and of course, enjoy munching on the goodies after they’re brought out freshly done from the oven. What you prepare can be served to family members, friends, visitors, etc. You may even decide to start selling them.

2. Be a Blogger or Programmer

The ancient art of blog . . . OK, just kidding. Being a blogger can be productive unlike sitting in front of your television screen for long and just being passive. You’ll be active in front of a PC or mobile device screen.

What about being a programmer? You can write productive code (which takes long hours every day for weeks or months depending on the workload) with all that time you’re killing watching shows.

3. Become a Lifelong Learner

Wanna know the benefits of lifelong learning? Just read about it. But we’ll have you know that your precious time will be put to good use just by being a learner—learning about subjects relevant to your passion or life goals.

4. Check Social Media Platforms

Online social platforms provide forums and trends sections where you can interact with people who share similar interests easily. You can’t use your TV to communicate with others unless you phone in during a live show, right?

5. Contribute to Charity

Helping to raise funds for a cause means you’re contributing to humanity and society. Sitting in front of a TV all day won’t make you helpful to others.

6. Develop New Skills or Adopt New Outdoor Interests

You should have stopped watching TV that much just because of these reasons. Learning new skills makes you a more valuable employee at work. Engaging in new outdoor interests makes you get more out of life. You can try the following: Hiking, rock climbing, boating, skydiving, geocaching, camping, road trips, touring, fishing, etc.

7. Do Some Fine Art

Doing some fine art might be more relaxing than watching your favorite TV show. Why? One; you may be doing it in silence or with soft background music, instead of having to hear a riot of television sounds. Two; your mind will be focused on a productive activity.

8. Drink Tea, Yogurt, Milk, Wine, or Any of Your Favorite Drinks

It’s true that you can do these while watching TV. However, there are better ways to enjoy your drink. For example, taking some fresh air while sitting on the porch.

9. Engage in DIY Practices

DIY (do-it-yourself) activities such as home repairs, installations, and maintenance work can be done to make good use of your time. You’ll be learning new skills while doing so.

10. Follow a Beauty Routine

Make yourself look good by keeping your skin and hair healthy? Why not? Doing so improves the quality of life and makes one happy when positive results are achieved.

11. Get a Home Spa Experience

This is related to the previous point. You can try this for a “feel good” experience. Necessary things like a water heater, bath supplies, bathroom remodel, etc.

12. Go for a Drive

You can drive for some fresh air or to sightsee. There are many other reasons, but it’s a great time killer when you’re bored watching TV.

13. Hang out With Friends

Hanging out with friends is one of the easiest ideas among things to do instead of watching TV. You can go over to a friend’s place, they can come over to yours, or there’ll be a neutral meeting place. Ideas on what to do next can start flowing easily, or plans may have been made beforehand.

14. Have Fun at an Outdoor Show

Options for outdoor shows are limitless. For example; concerts, theater plays, parades, festivals, trade fairs, open-air movie previews, and so on. Another worthy time killer to decide on when you’re bored watching TV.

15. Invest in Passive Income Streams

Using your television set is a passive activity. However, what if there was a passive activity that could get you money? You could simply just use your TV-watching time to monitor or manage the investment instead! Passive income stream ideas include affiliate marketing, course creation, SaaS (software as a service), etc.

16. Keep a Journal

Ever heard of bullet journaling or BuJo? It involves using a suitable notebook to keep your daily life organized—for personal or work purposes.

17. Listen to Music

You don’t have to use your eyes while relaxing. Just your ears enjoying soft music till you probably sleep off. Why not choose music streaming as one of the things to do instead of watching TV?

18. Meditate

Meditation has spiritual benefits as well as physical ones. For example, it helps you relax and makes you spiritually fulfilled.

19. Organize or Join a Book Club

We’ll discuss the benefits of reading books later under point 26. For now, just add this to the list of things to do instead of watching TV.

20. Plan

Planning for future activities should definitely be one of the things to do besides watch TV. It helps you stay organized, and you can do so with the aid of a journal.

21. Practice Your Talent

Do you have talent? If so, you shouldn’t let it go to waste. The daily screen time can be turned into a rehearsal or practice period.

22. Research

We do research in many ways apart from what is done in a formal setting. For example; when we ask a friend about a movie. Research makes you knowledgeable and helps in the achievement of work/business milestones.

23. Set up a Business

Establishing and managing a startup can be one of the best things to do besides watch TV. Making money and building your net worth is definitely better than earning nothing while following your favorite show.

24. Sleep

There must have been days when you stopped watching TV because you wanted to rest your head after a long viewing period. Well, sleep is a really good reason. You need to go to bed to be refreshed for the next workday after watching the 10 pm network news or a late-night entertainment show.

25. Spend More Time With Your Pets, Kids, Family, Friends, etc.

This is for those who are married with or without kids. You should spend quality time with them both indoors and outdoors instead of watching TV in the master bedroom or elsewhere away from them. You’ll never regret it.

26. Start Reading Beneficial Books

Lifelong learners read books or they at least learn through any other means. Reading books boosts your IQ, makes you more creative, etc.

27. Take a Walk

There are those times where nothing showing interests you. This means you’re bored watching TV. Why not just take a long head-clearing walk then?

28. Visit Family and Friends

You don’t know the people you see on TV personally. Even if you know a celebrity or personality or two, the percentage would be less than 0.1. Why not choose this as one of the worthwhile things to do instead of watching TV.

29. Volunteer for Community Service

This is just the same as what was stated under “Contribute to Charity”. Making the world a better place away from your television screen.

30. Work

If you don’t have a passive income stream or business or benefactor, you’d need to do some work in order to earn a living, right? Well, sitting in front of the TV all day won’t let you have that quality time.

You would’ve stopped watching TV by the time a combination of the above ideas is implemented. We’ll focus on what to do instead of watching TV at night under one of the questions in our FAQs section below.

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Our FAQs section covers a range of topics related to how to stop watching TV, things to do instead of watching TV at night, how to watch less TV, and things to do besides watch TV. Dive in!

  1. How Can I Relax without Watching TV?
  2. How Do I Break My TV Addiction?
  3. What Else Can You Do Besides Watch TV at Home?
  4. How to Watch Less TV.
  5. What to Do Instead of Watching TV at Night.

How Can I Relax without Watching TV?

You may have stopped watching TV, but you still need something that can help you relax, right? Not to worry, there are many relaxing things to do instead of watching TV. Check the following ideas:

  1. Knitting.
  2. Sitting in front of your home for some nice open-air experience. For example; taking some fresh air on the patio.
  3. Giving yourself a beauty treatment.
  4. Meditating with gentle exercises. For example, yoga.
  5. Listening to meditative music. For example, Mozart’s compositions.
  6. Having a drink. For example; a cup of tea, a glass of wine, etc.
  7. Having a long shower or choose to bathe in a hot tub or Jacuzzi.

How Do I Break My TV Addiction?

In a 2019 study, it was discovered that people in America spend over half of their free time on TV viewing. This is due to the fact that technology has made TV viewing easier, especially when it comes to cable TV and streaming sites.

If you’re among those that spend too much time on TV viewing to the extent that it’s affecting your life negatively, do the things that were listed under the subheading “How to Stop Watching TV”.

What Else Can You Do Besides Watch TV at Home?

Hmmm… What are the things to do besides watch TV? We’ve got some ideas on that too. They’re . . . Oh, it’s a really long list…

  1. Writing.
  2. Blogging.
  3. Graphic designing.
  4. Drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.
  5. Listening to the radio.
  6. Listening to music.
  7. Singing.
  8. Dancing.
  9. Drinking.
  10. Baking.
  11. Phoning.
  12. Texting.
  13. DIY home repairs.
  14. Reading.
  15. Planning or scheduling activities.
  16. Journaling.
  17. Gaming.
  18. Organizing or re-arranging your home.
  19. Learning and researching.
  20. Gardening.
  21. Meditating, exercising, etc.
  22. Playing.
  23. Rehearsing/practicing.

How to Watch Less TV?

How to watch less TV? Well, it’s simple. Follow the tips we’ve presented below.

  1. Be sure that you’re watching television for the right reasons.
  2. Ascertain how much time you spend on television viewing.
  3. Limit your TV period to specific times for each day of the week.
  4. Find other distractions.
  5. Make friends if you don’t have any.
  6. Reduce the number of TV shows you watch.

What to Do Instead of Watching TV at Night?

Your problem might be knowing what to do instead of watching TV at night. Engaging only in daytime viewing might be OK for you or it may count as moderate TV watching. So what are some of the alternatives to watching TV at night? See them below.

  1. Plan for the next day.
  2. Write in your diary or journal (bullet journal).
  3. Read a book or join/organize a book club.
  4. Listen to music.
  5. Practice playing a musical instrument.
  6. Check your social media accounts.
  7. Invite your friends over for a game night.
  8. Talk with or phone a friend, family member, or your lover.


Now you have enough tips on how to stop watching TV now as well as what to do instead of watching TV (at night). You should be able to find at least 10 ideas that pique your interest out of the several options of things to do other than watching TV.

We hope that the answers given in the FAQs section are understandable enough, especially the one about breaking your TV addiction. Ensure that the therapist or life coach you go to are reputable professionals who maybe specialize in subfields related to that type of addiction. Good luck on your quest to find inner peace after you must have stopped watching TV.

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Kalpataru Biswas

Kalpataru is a Software Sales, and Product Marketing professional. He writes on business development, personal development, personal finance, and career development. He has more than 10 years of experience in driving revenue through data-driven Sales & Marketing.