Do I even need to talk about how obsessed our generation is with Netflix? And not just Netflix, but HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime and old-fashioned television. I’m a sucker for a good television show after work, but I’ve also been faced with the feeling that I have more productive things I should be doing. Each time Netflix popped up with the “Are you still watching?” I’ve felt the guilt pouring over me.

I’ve wanted to limit my television usage for a while now (and I have a bit), but a few series always seem to suck me in and I believe I am a lost cause. However, I’ve realized that I can be both somewhat productive and enjoy my favorite series at the same time. It makes me feel a tad less guilty for spending hours in front of my Apple TV each week.

Here are nine ideas on how you can be more productive while watching your favorite TV series.

1) Exercise while you watch

One of the best ways to be productive while watching Netflix is to exercise while you watch. Whether you’re using a treadmill or using an exercise guide from Pinterest, this is a way to make working out a little more fun. Here are some great exercise guides for Scandal, Friends, and Pretty Little Liars. You can find even more on Pinterest by searching “Netflix Workouts.” There are so many. Thank me later when you develop your six-pack while watching How To Get Away With Murder.

2) Take note of the lessons & write about it

As a blogger, one of my favorite ways to make watching TV feel more productive is to pay attention to the lessons, the characters, and the story so that I can write about it later. A good blog post makes the endless hours of Netflix watching feel like it served more purpose than just entertainment. I love me a good lessons post.

3) Fold & hang up laundry

Probably the most obvious way to be more productive while watching television would be to multi-task while you watch. One of my favorite ways to multi-task while watching TV is through folding laundry. It makes annoying chores feel like they aren’t so bad. I have a problem with not hanging up my clothes after they’re freshly washed. I cannot tell you how much more motivation I have when I get to enjoy my favorite shows while doing so.

4) Do mindless activities (like coloring)

I’m not sure how productive coloring is, but I find that when I do both at the same time, I feel more productive. I love the background noise of the television. This is especially good for shows that you don’t care too much about. I personally have a couple shows that I simply use for the background noise like Friends or Grace and Frankie. It’s nice to enjoy two relaxing activities at the same time.

5) Hang out time

Some shows make for some seriously great conversations and excuses to invite friends over. I feel like human connection is so important to our well-being, so having an excuse to invite a friend over is never a bad thing to me. Even if you don’t bond over it in person, it can make for a great way to bond with long-distance friends. Plus, chatting with co-workers the next morning about a television show is the best.

6) Use commercial breaks (if watching live on TV)

Make good use of commercial breaks if you’re watching TV live. You can even pause Netflix every fifteen minutes to pretend like you’re watching commercial breaks. It’s the perfect time to meal prep for the next day or write your to-do list. We’re always complaining that we don’t have enough time, but some of our mundane tasks only take 5 or 10 minutes. Take breaks throughout your tv show to get a few things done like planning out what you’ll wear tomorrow or getting your gym bag ready. You’ll thank yourself in the morning for spending a few minutes the night before.

7) Live tweet

We can all argue that social media can be a waste of our time sometimes, but when you’re working on building a community online, Twitter can be worth spending time chatting with online friends. One of the best ways to do this, while watching television, is to live tweet. Since I’m on the West Coast in California, live tweets can sometimes be annoying for me. But I personally enjoy a good Bachelor live tweet. I love seeing how humorous some of my Twitter friends are. Relatable TV tweets are the best. Do you guys enjoy live tweets or hate them?

8) Make it a game

Speaking of The Bachelor, there are lots of people who participate in games for popular shows like this. There is a website for participating in The Bachelor Bracket. I haven’t done it but it sounds fun. It’s a good way to connect with friends. It’s fun to root for contestants and feel more connected to the show. You can also, of course, make it into a drinking game. There’s so many ways to make television more interactive. Use a television show as a tool to be creative and think of a fun game for you and your friends yourself.

9 ) Be present

Watching television is probably not the best use of your time, but it’s okay to wind down during the end of your productive day and just enjoy relaxing. We all need a little of that and in a way, it is productive to relax. It’s self-care. Be present and enjoy your relaxation time. Grab yourself a glass of wine or some tea, lay down and relax. We give you permission.

 

What are your current favorite TV shows? We would love to know!

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