Let me preface this post by saying I love binge watching Netflix. Watching a show continuously without commercials, without having to wait a week for a new episode to come out and being able to watch every single season in four days is simply rad. However, last night as I was sitting watching the entire series of Gilmore Girls for the millionth time, I thought about how much time is wasted by my binge watching. Which is why I came up with this list of more productive things to do with free time instead of (or even while) binge watching.
1. Learn a new skill that may help you professionally.
This might sound time consuming. This might sound hard. This might sound boring. You know what? It doesn’t have to be. By now there are so many YouTube videos on how to do pretty much anything, this is where it comes in handy. I am a communication major with an emphasis in public relations. One thing I learned this semester was that the more diverse skill sets you have under your belt, the better. In PR we are not specifically told that we need to know how photograph, hand letter or use the Adobe suite. However, learning how to do some of these things has made me so much more versatile and improved my value at my jobs. Though I am definitely not perfect at any of these things, I know enough about them to do them myself instead of having to have someone else do it for me. I learned how to do most of them from watching YouTube videos, Googling them or looking up how-to’s on Pinterest. Easy.
2. Learn a new skill just for the fun of it.
Nate loves to play the guitar, and he taught himself (Just to go along with my last point, he also taught himself how to code his own app because he thought it would be useful)! Anytime he gets bored he just sits and plays. Sometimes I catch him watching YouTube videos or looking up music to learn new songs. This semester I took a sewing class and now I am constantly wanting to visit the sewing lab and just day dream of all of the things that I’m going to make. Though I’m pretty sure Nate was always amazing at the guitar, I was definitely not great at sewing (I’m still not great, but that’s okay). We both had a good time learning these skills, even if we weren’t great at them in the beginning. Like I said above, even though it may seem a little difficult at first, there are so many websites that help teach you pretty much anything you could ever want to know.
3. Start writing in a journal.
This one may seem random. And weird. And lame. However, journal writing is actually important (though I should not be talking about this because I’m awful at it) and it can be pretty fun. There are probably a lot of reasons why this is important, but I will focus on just two of them.
A) Keeping a journal lets you see how you have progressed. We go through so many small changes even daily, we probably do not recognize them. All of the sudden we are completely different people with different ways of thinking. Recording in a journal helps us capture that. When I look back at my journals from middle school, I sometimes want to cry because I was so embarrassing. Luckily, I instead laugh and am just grateful for how far I have come.
B) Keeping a journal can sometimes influence the world. I remember reading the Diary of Anne Frank when I was younger. It pretty much changed how I looked at everything. This 13-year-old girl changed so many people’s lives just by recording her life in a journal. A lot of what we know about history comes from people recording their lives. I mean, the entire bible is made up from people writing in a journal! In case none of those points persuaded you, there are also a lot of other cool people that have kept journals, like: Kurt Cobain, John Adams, Bob Dylan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frida Kahlo, George S. Patton, Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, Andy Warhol and Elie Wiesel (just to name a few).
To get you in the writing spirit, I suggest getting a pretty notebook that will motivate you to use it. Some of my personal favourites (like the one below) can be found at Rifle Paper Co.
4. Work it out.
Again, I don’t really have the authority to speak on this because I am not an exercise girl. However, this is fun because you can do it while you binge watch. There are a lot of workouts that you can do from home, and you can even make a game out of it while your watching your show! For example, if you’re watching Friends, do five twenty jumping jacks every time Monica talks about cleaning, do ten squats every time Joey eats something, five burpees every time Phoebe wears a weird outfit, etc. You can make up your own game for whatever you are watching. It’s like a drinking game, except for you actually remember what happened and you burn fat instead of taking in a bunch of extra calories.
5. Do something for someone else.
Again, this may not sound like fun at first. However, I promise that when you do something nice for someone else you will also feel a lot better about yourself. You do not have to do something big to count it as service. Making someone a treat, paying someone a sincere compliment, genuinely trying to make people happier are all little ways to serve. I found a quote by Gordon B. Hinkley that I really love, it says: “The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” You can click //players.brightcove.net/32439484001/default_default/index.html?videoId=4647384468001” target=”_blank”>here to see a little video of how a simple compliment can transform how people feel.
Now get off of the couch and be productive, you can do it! Thanks for stopping in.