Is Binge Watching Hurting Your Productivity?

Television remote control

Television remote control (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Binge Watching” = The act of consecutively watching television shows online for hours.. many, many, hours.

I’ve fallen victim to this illness various times, and I know I’m not alone! I mean how can you not binge watch when Netflix has every episode of the best shows ever  – including one of my personal faves Breaking Bad?  Even ABC Go dedicated an entire week of their online service to binge watching. They posted all of their shows’ seasons, which they have never done before.

As awesome as it is to catch up on a show or throw yourself into an entirely new one, this “addiction” can seriously get in the way of your productivity. Because episodes continue one after the other you can totally lose track of time and the next thing you know you’ve been sitting on your couch for six hours.

So here is my list on how to balance your binge watching and your to-do’s!

1. Make It A Game: When I know that I have things to do, but I am dying to catch up on my shows I make a little competition with myself. I set my goals for the day and then I will reward myself with an episode or two if I accomplish all my work. Two or three checks off my to-do list equals admiring Michael C. Hall (Dexter) for an hour. Not a bad payoff, huh?

2. Designate “Binge” Days: Instead of getting sucked into a show in the middle of the work week, reserve your binge watching for a Friday or Saturday! (Or any day you choose really.) Grab a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers, and get cozy on the couch. This way you aren’t cutting into your productivity and saving some money staying in.  Also — if you “save up” your binge watching it’s delayed gratification, which, in my opinion, is the best kind.

3. Create a “Binge” Watching Club: Get a group of people who love the same shows as you and set a definite start and stop time and stick to it! Having people around is more fun and it ensures that you have a good time and that you will get back to the real world and out of the Netflix realm.

So when you’re ready the binge — here are some of my favorites to watch:

1.Breaking Bad
2. Dexter
3. House of Cards
4. The Office
5. Weeds
6. Homeland
7.  Orange Is the New Black

If you do get stuck on the couch all day, it’s okay — we all need those days once and awhile! I’m curious to know how you binge watch and still get stuff done? Maybe there’s a technique I’m missing!  Please comment below.

Paula Rizzo is an Emmy award winning television producer and founder of the productivity site She’s also the author of “Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.”

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