Over these years, if someone were to ask me what is the one positive change that you have brought about in your life, I’d say that I am more open to experimentation now. What usually began with a straight no with underlying emotions such as lethargy and procrastination, has now shifted to something like: Fuck it! Let’s do it. This opens the doors for so many changes. A few of them: you didn’t even know you needed, until you made them. One such Kaizen was changing the location of my television. Hold on. Stay with me. How can something so insignificant boost productivity? Turns out it can. I will try to bring home this point in today’s article. So lets get started:
What Was The Kaizen?
While it may seem to be trivial to keep moving the furniture and appliances in your house, but some of these impact your mental health big time. Nope, I am not referring to some Feng Shui or Vaastu. My spouse tends to move locations of our dining table, couch sitting every 60 days or so. As per her, she kills the monotony (now that we live in homes 24×7). And like what good husbands should do, I totally supported her decisions but was never able to envisage the benefits. It’s really hard to bore me. I can usually work like a clockwork for days. So monotony? Not for me. Until..
Until one day she suggested that we move television out of our room to the lobby area. This came as a total shocker to me. All my life, I have been used to watching TV while I sleep at the night. My parents had such an arrangement since we were born. All the houses I rented as a bachelor had a television in my bedroom. Even until that very moment in my married life, there it was! Right in front of me.
What Triggered this Change?
While TV was at our disposal, we spent our time before sleeping in watching some series on some OTT platforms. Since she is an interior designer, she has this eye for catching minute details. While we binged on “The Queen’s Gambit” she asked if I have noticed that televisions (or even reading areas) are not a part of bedrooms in the western culture. Post that, even I observed this in multiple settings and it got me thinking. And when I Googled about it, I found out that this carried some real merit.
And on 12th January, 2021, we called a carpenter, the DTH guy to help us switch the location. Financially daunting to see that DTH guy charged Rs. 500 to simply pick up the box from one location and put it on the other. But that is history now.
What Happened Next?
So, a first few days were tough. As I mentioned, for last 28 years, sleeping was a very different experience. In the initial phase of this experiment, I observed a spike in my cellphone usage between the hours from 10PM to 12 Midnight. My digital wellbeing dashboard started hitting upper limits set for all applications, during the night time. My father was visiting us a couple of days later and he added to the self doubts we were having. Obviously because he was used to living in the former setting even longer than me. But as the days passed by, we could see some real upside, a boost in our productivity because of this decision. It was a domino effect that small change had created in our lives.
So finally, the ripples it had brought about, were great. One month down the line, here are some clear benefits of this decision:
1. Sleep Cycle:
I can always lock myself out from my phone. On the other hand, television series that end with a cliffhanger, are very difficult to deal with. So once they weren’t around while I planned to call it a day, I found that I started going to bed at least 30 minutes earlier. At least started preparing for it in a better manner. This also dropped the time taken to fall asleep. Lesser I have to ponder about a fictional series I am watching, easier it is for me to sleep.
Evidently, this also meant that I’d wake up on time. So every morning now starts at about 6:30 AM and I don’t feel tired the entire day. Most of my extra work is taken care off in these 3 odd hours before the office starts. *Blessed*
2. No Binge Eating:
While TV was in bedroom, that room used to be everything. We slept, talked, ate, spent our breaks in that one room only. Such a waste of real estate. Once we moved our TV outside, our dining table was finally put to use. Since that happened, I enjoyed food much more. I ate rather consciously. Even the quality of our dinner conversations improved.
Apart from this, since I was not staying awake till late, those midnight munchies were ruled out. We always have a stock of some chips at our place and I am known for depleting it by middle of the month. This time around, we still have at least 20 days worth of stock to go. Planning to avoid purchasing it in the next month grocery shopping at all. I think I should be good.
When you sit on the bed entire day, the postures you are in are probably not healthy for you. But when you change that to a couch, you sit with a straight back, are more attentive and lie down less. Apart from that, you view TV at a 180 degree angle. So probably your neck would be thanking you for that right now.
Call me old or whatever, but this birthday, I bought a study table and chair for myself. Earlier, we used our dining table as a multipurpose table for my work. At times I would work using my laptop table on the bed. This allowed me to spend some time with my spouse simultaneously. Now, with this Kaizen, I cannot work on the dining table as TV is now placed next to it and mostly on all the time. I also cannot go back to working on a bed because there’s no merit in entering the bedroom anymore. So after I allocated a dedicated work space (or forced to allocate), I am able to focus better. There is a separate room now that serves the purpose of a work room and I couldn’t be happier.
5. Winding up the Day:
And because of all of the above I am able to put in more productive hours at work without feeling the burnout. When TV was in my bedroom, a typical day ending would look like eating, watching and sleeping on the same spot. So no matter what time I wind up my day, that would be the last place I would be in. But, once we moved television from that place, I have compartmentalized the thoughts of having dinner, watching TV and going to sleep. Now, if I fail to finish my work on time, I’ll have to compromise on either of the subsequent activities. This forces me to plan my day better and prevents procrastination. Therefore, a much needed motivation to leave everything aside and wind up everything on time.
I have heard a lot about small incremental changes causing the snowball effect and hence turning your life around but had never witnessed one before. This peculiar Kaizen caught my attention. May be because my wife keeps on reminding me of how good of a decision she took. Jokes apart, I think the concept of bedroom has taken a new shape altogether in my life after this. From spending most hours of my day there, I now enter my bedroom, just to sleep. Probably my brain has also started associating with that place of rest. As a result, I fall asleep much quicker.
Is it another placebo in action? I am okay even if its. What do you think? Where is your TV?
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Until next time..