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35 Productive Things To Do While Watching TV

Life is busy, chaotic and demanding of our time. Sometimes it seems as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done, let alone relax. As the holiday season creeps up, it’s only going to get busier with things to do and social obligations to be at – leaving less time to relax or do the other things we enjoy.

Productive Things To Do Watching TV

Photo credit: Iain Watson

At the end of the day once the kids are tucked in, I like to unwind and relax with my husband by watching our favorite TV shows together. However, often in the back of my head I feel as though I could be making better use of my time or checking things off my to-do list. It’s the classic conundrum of relaxation vs. productivity. So, why not multi-task and do both at the same time? I’m a big fan of multi-tasking! Admittedly, on multiple occasions I have cleaned my entire bathroom while giving my child a bath (true story). So, here’s to multi-tasking with a list of 35 Productive Things To Do While Watching TV!

35 Productive Things To Do While Watching TV
I’ve divided it into 4 sub-categories; Clean/Organize, Health, Beauty and Holiday. Most of these I’ve personally done while watching TV. If you don’t watch TV shows per say, you could do these things while listening to music, an audio book, the news, NPR, a podcast or a TED Talk. The point is to either be able to multi-task to leave more time for other enjoyable things – like spending time with loved ones, or getting more sleep – or to make the task more enjoyable, relaxing, and just feel less like work.

1. Fold laundry
2. Clean out and organize your purse or wallet
3. Iron clothes
4. Tidy and dust the room you’re in
5. Wipe off all smudges on the TV screen
6. Make your to-do list
7. Sort and organize your inbox, unsubscribe from mailing lists or block senders
8. Fix and mend broken things (sew buttons back onto blouses, fix broken jewelry)
9. Clean dirt off all your shoes
10. Pay bills online
11. Load dishwasher or wash dishes
12. Open and sort through mail
13. Shred documents
14. Get rid of unwanted junk mail. Unsubscribe from mailing lists. If you want companies to stop sending you junk mail, just write “Return to Sender. Occupant moved, address unknown. Please remove from mailing list” and stick it in the mailbox, no postage necessary! I’ve done this before, and it works great.
15. Upload digital photos to your computer
16. Sort, label, and tag those digital photos on your computer

17. Exercise! Yoga, pilates, weights, resistance bands, squats – or my personal favorite – this free 7 minute High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout app. Do it 4-5x for a full body work-out. I can personally thank the CW network for fueling most of my long workouts with light and fluffy young adult drama.
18. Pack lunches for tomorrow or the whole week
19. Make or refill a “lunch making station” like this or this
20. Prep dinner (or part of your dinner) for the next day
21. Chop up fruit or vegetables to snack on throughout the week
22. Floss teeth
23. Meal plan for the week
24. Make grocery shopping list
25. Give someone a massage – or better yet, receive a massage from someone

26. Paint your nails
27. Trim, file, and buff nails
28. Take off your makeup
29. Whiten your teeth
30. Pluck and trim your eyebrows
31. Do your hair up in a no-heat, overnight hairstyle like this, this or this. That way you can catch a few more zzz’s and then take it out when you get up in the morning!

32. Wrap holiday gifts
33. Stuff, seal and/or address holiday cards
34. DIY holiday crafts/décor
35. Do holiday shopping online! Have you heard of Amazon Prime2-day free shipping? One December when I was 8.5 months pregnant with an energetic 2 year old at home with me, I ordered all my Christmas gifts on Amazon and apart from a few visits to Target, I never had to drag along my toddler, let alone set foot in a single mall or other store to do my Christmas shopping. It was glorious. And if you want to ship a gift to someone, you can even pay a small fee to have Amazon wrap it for you. Also, no holiday post office line-ups! Bonus: For $99/year (or $49/year if you are a student), you not only get free 2 day shipping on all prime items, but unlimited video and music streaming. Can you tell I love Amazon?


There you have it! 35 Productive Things to Do While Watching TV. You can keep this list on your phone to refer to whenever you watch TV and want to be productive. Hopefully this advice will help to make some tasks more enjoyable or help free up some time to just kick back and relax after a busy day!

What are your favorite ways to multi-task?

Janaia Roeder, California lifestyle blog

Kati - Great tips!

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