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Ten Useful Things To Do While Watching T.V.

10 Useful Things To Do While Watching T.V.

You must have come across that species of super-efficient, over achieving womanhood sometime. She is usually a successful professional holding a full time job who is managing to bring up three children at the same time. She jogs three miles every morning, cooks delicious meals from scratch and also makes time  to volunteer at three different charities. When asked how she manages to do so much in one lifetime she replies with a self-satisfied smirk, ”I don’t watch T.V.”

If you are a chronic T.V. addict like me you might lay any unfulfilled dreams or unachieved ambitions at the door of T.V. With all the variety of channels and programs the average person spends “X” number of hours in front of the idiot box. What a nasty name—“idiot box”. Many feel bad about their T,V. habit but can’t manage to give it up.

  • If the first thing you do when you come home is switching on the television;
  • If you would much rather spend Saturday evening watching your favourite shows than going out on the town;
  • If you want to continue watching T.V. without feeling guilty, read on:

I have compiled a list of some of my favourite things to do while watching my favourite shows.


I must confess to being the original couch potato. I would much rather watch T.V. or read a book than go for a walk in the park. At the same time I worry that my sedentary lifestyle might lead to health problems later in life.

With such concerns in mind, I have recently invested in a recumbent bike (an exercise bicycle with back support). I have placed it in a position of vantage in my living room. It gets in the way and usually stubs the toes of those who pass by. I have a perfect view of the telly for all of the ten minutes that I am using it every day (ten minutes is better than nothing at all, isn’t it?).

things to do while watching T V exercise bike

Depending on the space and money that you can spare, you can put some piece of gym equipment in front of the T.V. and work out while you watch. You need not spend any money; just plan a set of exercises that can be done while watching telly (click here for a brief video).

exercise while watching t v


Mani/ Pedi

Why spend time and money going to a salon for a professional manicure and pedicure? You can easily do them at home while watching telly.

things to do while watching T V little girl painting nails

Just make sure you spread plenty of newspapers on the floor if you want to be thorough and soak your feet. Watch two episodes of The Crown back to back and you have enough time to pamper your fingers and toes : soak, scrub, clip, file, base coat, top coat, the works.

things to do while watching T V soaking hands and feet

Mani/pedi need not be limited to women. Guys can benefit  from showing their fingers and toes some love too. It will just take a shorter period of time – so shorter viewing.A lady’s mani/pedi can be as long as an epic like Gone With The Wind while a gentleman’s can be as short as an episode of Friends.


Tidying Up

Now this is a very good one because it is so useful. I hate tidying up so much that I never tackle it without putting on some favourite show or music. I mentioned this in an earlier post

While tidying the house, I usually watch a show or movie that I have seen before. Then I don’t mind leaving the room to replace things in other parts of the house.


Meal Prep.

This is another mundane household chore that can easily be done while watching T.V. Shelling peas and strnging beans can be done on a T.V. tray in front of the telly.

In fact, this is how I nearly always make fruit salad. Three bowls fit nicely on T.V. tray: one for the assorted fruit, one for the salad and a smaller one for peels and seeds. I do the cutting up in front of the living room telly and then move to the kitchen to add condiments and dressing.



A friend of mine carries a notebook in her purse. The moment she makes a purchase she writes it down. Alas, I am not so disciplined. I keep stuffing my handbag with bills and credit card receipts. On a day when I am feeling particularly virtuous I up end the bag on a table while watching T.V. I sift through my bills, sorting them into little piles as I catch a favourite show (I have many favourites). I note them down in my account book, destroying the ones I don’t need to keep and filing the rest in a folder.

things to do while watching T.V. pen cash account book

This is not the best way of getting things done, but as long as it works for me, I don’t mind.


Social Media

While I think that social media platforms are a great way to connect with friends and the rest of the world, I don’t like the fact that they eat up massive chunks of time. You can get so engrossed in Facebook and WhatsApp and Pinterest and Twitter that dawn can turn to dusk without your realizing it.

things to do while watching t.v. smart phone and T.V. screenss

I therefore try to use social media while watching T.V. This way I can keep track of how long I have spent i.e. only as long as the program I was watching.



A hobby that you can do with your hands and that doesn’t need much concentration is the ideal accompaniment to guilt free indulgence in television. My favourite T.V. watching craft is embroidery. I can watch two feature films back to back smug in the knowledge that I will have finished a considerable amount of my wall hanging or cushion.

Knitting is a close second, but since it involves counting stitches there is a risk of going wrong if the series you are following gets too intense. Crochet and macramé are good options too.


Ironing & Laundry Sorting

Most household tasks can be accompanied by guilt-free telly viewing. Sorting socks into pairs, folding towels and non-iron clothing etc. can be done anywhere there is a T.V. set.

Ironing is difficult though. It requires space for an ironing board as well as an electricity outlet. For myself I have solved this problem by positioning my ironing board such that I can watch the set in another room through an open doorway.


Re-cycling Paper & Sorting Mail

In this age of electronic mail and digital transactions, the average household/person still gets a lot of junk mail of the real (as opposed to virtual) variety. Businesses still hand out pamphlets and push flyers through mail boxes. Some bills still arrive in the post.

A lot of unnecessary paper accumulates that needs to be sorted and disposed of from time to time. Hurrah! I have another reason to watch “The Roman Holiday” for the umpteenth time.

Now that you have sorted your paper, you can recycle it to feel even more virtuous. Of course it is a longer task and you can fit in a whole episode of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch as you do it. You can cut up paper printed on one side into smaller pieces and staple them at one end to form a notepad – ideal for lists or to keep by the phone.

You can cut old invitation or greeting cards (people still send them) to form pretty bookmarks (people still read books too). All this virtuosity, while you accompany Sherlock and Dr. Watson chasing diabolical criminals around London. That is called eating your cake and having it (or is that having your cake and eating it?).



While most of us pour our blood, sweat and tears into our blogs, is there really a harm if the television is playing in the background. I am not trying to trivialize blogging, just sharing a practical tip that I use.

I experience less eye strain from screen use  if I keep looking at a television at the far end of the room every so often. This method of avoiding eyestrain is every bit as useful as looking out of the window from time to time. Again, the channel/show that is on should not be so attractive that it distracts you from the task at hand.


I have found these T.V. watching hacks to work very well for me. My chores get done, my hobbies indulged, and I keep from getting too engrossed in the television programs.

I know that I will face criticism from the advocates of mono-tasking (as opposed to multi-tasking) but it works for me.

What do you think ?

Please let me know in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to like, follow, share.

You might also like:

5 Productivity Hacks You Already Knew But Keep Forgetting

5 Easy Ways To Avoid The Stress Of Modern Living


16 thoughts on “Ten Useful Things To Do While Watching T.V.

      1. I don’t watch much tv these days. But I can implement these tips while I am sitting down , just going through my reader( reading blogs). 😊


      2. Even when one is not actively watching I find it’s nice to have it on.


  1. Yet another excellent post. I am not very disciplined and enjoy watching TV so i refuse to dilute my pleasure by doing anything remotely useful… mani pedi is all i do but then i am not sure if i would classify that as “useful”…. 🙂


  2. I frequently bring work home, and there are a lot of tasks I can accomplish while the TV is on, like organizing data, formatting slideshows for presentations, answering routine email, etc. Often I have one task that requires a lot of focus (like planning presentation content) that leads to a less intensive task (like adjusting fonts and images), so I’ll alternate between TV off and TV on, depending on what I’m doing.



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