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How to Optimize Your TV Time

13 To-Dos to Do While You Watch TV

We're thrilled to present this smart Learnvest story here on Savvy! By the end of the week, the last thing we want to do is to tackle our to-dos. It’s Friday, and the biggest to-do on our mind is catching up on this week’s 30 Rock. As important as it is to give full attention to big financial decisions and anything that requires real math, we’ll confess that we often try to knock off our more menial tasks in front of the television. Nothing like killing lots of birds with one televised stone. Here are 13 to-dos to do while you pay a visit to TV Land.

  1. Make Plans For The Weekend. — Finish hammering out your weekend schedule. Email any last friends you need to so that your plans are all settled.
  2. Sort The Junk. — Sort the paper on your desk into two piles: (1) Junk to recycle and (2) important things to deal with later.
  3. Clean Out Your Inbox. — We all have emails that have been sitting in our inbox for ages, even though they don’t require more than five minutes to deal with. While you watch TV, answer all of your not-so-complicated messages. Then, simply choose a time in your calendar when you’ll sit down to deal with the more time-consuming emails. And stick to it.
  4. Organize Your Email Folders. — Now that you’ve answered some of your basic correspondence, go through your inbox and split everything left into folders labeled as priority, to do later, and archive.
  5. Plan Your Meals. — Plan lunches that you can pack for the next week. If you order your groceries online through a service such as FreshDirect, create your grocery list online.
  6. Review Your Budget. — Review your spending from the past week to see how you net out. Now, refer to your budget and check to see if it’s on par. If not, don’t worry about it at this very moment. Mark out a time on your schedule to deal with it—and deal with it.
  7. Pay Your Bills. — During a commercial break, put the sound on mute: Make sure you’ve paid all of your bills for this month, from internet to electricity to cell phone bills. Pay any outstanding bills online right now—no hard math required, since we want you to pay on time and in full. If you’ve received your credit card bill, set aside a separate time to go over it so you can review the charges.
  8. Check Your Credit Score. — If you missed LV's September 1 deadline to check your credit score, do it now at Credit Karma. It’s super easy, free, and takes just a few minutes. Going forward, stay motivated and keep your to-do list in check with LV's Fall Financial To-Dos.
  9. Declutter Your Purse. — Clean out your purse and minimize clutter. Throw out old receipts and empty MetroCards, clear out anything you don’t need, and make sure you know where you’re storing everything from keys to your favorite lipstick.
  10. Make Your To-Do List. — Make a to-do list for the next week with goals to accomplish at work and for any outside projects. That way, you can enter into the time ahead with open eyes and enjoy your weekend without worrying that you’ve forgotten anything.
  11. Sort Your Magazines. — Browse through the pile of old magazines on your coffee table and sort through which ones you actually read regularly. List out the additional subscriptions you have online (such as to Netflix, gym subscriptions, etc.) and cancel all the ones you don’t use. Do it online right now. Simple.
  12. Max Out Your Retirement Contribution. — Investigate whether you’ve maxed out your retirement accounts for the year 2010. If not, write it in your planner as a to-do.
  13. Relax! — Once you’ve finished going through all these other TV tasks, we give you permission to zone out because you deserve it. Some of our guilty internet time-wasters? The cute and addictive Avocadolite Farm game and the ridiculous Kittenwar. It’s all right—with all of your affairs in order, it’s good for you to have some time to yourself.


For more smart tips from Learnvest, check out:

What Would You Endure For Cheap Plane Tickets?
Bad Financial Habits to Drop By 30
The 3 Ps: Three Influences On Your Money Decisions

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