Watching too much television can be bad for your productivity. I’ve come up with a few ways to avoid the blackhole of Netflix, but I’ve been caught out a few times. Let’s face it we’ve all had that moment where you’ve sat down to watch one episode, and before you know it hours have past and you still haven’t started that thing you where going to do. It’s normal to feel guilty about your binge, but you don’t have to anymore.
Think of your time spent watching as ‘research’ – there are plenty of productive characters on television, and you can easily pick up a few tips.
Here are a few from some of my favorite shows:
Keep your eye out for new opportunities – When your incarcerated in a women’s penitentiary you always have to be on toes. Red from Orange is the New Black may run the prison, but that doesn’t stop her from always being on the lookout. Whether is a new inmate she can exploit or a run down greenhouse she can fix up – Red takes advantage of everything.
Real Life Use: When you think you’ve run out of options, look around you and you might find some opportunities that you’ve overlooked.
Always try to be one step ahead – Running a huge methamphetamine business generally means painting a pretty huge target on your back. That’s why Walter White from Breaking Bad was always trying to think a few steps ahead of his opponents, and it was this forethought that made him so successful.
Real Life Use: You might not run a drug ring, but you can still benefit from thinking a few steps ahead of your co-workers. Think about what task might be assigned in your next meeting and get an early start on it.
Clear out the clutter – Danny Tanner from Full House is well known for being obsessed with cleanliness, often roping his daughters into spring cleaning with him or buying them cleaning products for Christmas.
Real Life Use: Danny might take things a little overboard, but a UCLA study shows that women become more stressed when dealing with a cluttered environment. So taking the time to tidy your desk will be much better for you in the long run.
Outsource as much as possible – Nancy Botwin from Weeds can be a little crazy and disorganized, but when she’s in a bind she can always find someone to do the hard work for her. When she first sets up her business in Agrestic she finds someone to cover all aspects of her dealing from production to distribution.
Real Life Use: Don’t waste time on tasks that someone else could do just as well. Giving up a little control and outsourcing some of your smaller tasks, will ensure more time to focus on the big things.
Plan your day in advance – Alicia Florrick from Good Wife is always juggling several different tasks a once, whether it’s meeting clients at her office, taking someone down in court, looking after her kids or dealing with her husband’s political aide. And all the she does it while looking perfectly professional.
Real Life Use: Staying on top of her schedule is the key to Alicia’s success. If you want to be more like Alicia spend a few minutes before you leave work making a to-do list of the things you must get done the following day.
Embrace Order – Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory is the king of order. Everything has a place, every person fulfills a role. He even creates “Roommate Agreements” with clauses that account for a variety of situations.
Real Life Use: Sheldon definitely takes it to the extreme, but putting a systems in place, even a simple one, can help projects to move forward quickly and free up some of your time.
Which of these productivity tips do you think would help you most in your day?