Follow me:

28 productive + free things you can do instead of watching netflix.

If we’re anything alike, you probably get home from your morning classes and sit down to have four servings of mac + cheese, planning to watch “just one episode”.

Then, before you know it, you’re a wedding, two child births, a few funerals, and a whole lot of laughs deep in your favorite show. AKA, just one episode turned into just one SEASON.

Honey. I feel you.

This year, I set out to live with more intention, less distraction, more passion.

And as much as the next guy, I hate that that means peeling my eyeballs off of Netflix + focusing on something more worthy of my free 5(00) minutes.

There are a million and twelve things you can do to stay productive throughout the day and not get sucked into the black hole of Friends or Orange is the New Black or Gilmore Girls.

The goal: save your rest time for ACTUAL rest time. Before bed, during your scheduled power nap, or on the weekends.

If you’re stuck and know you SHOULD be doing something, but don’t quite know what, here are 28 suggestions:

  1.  journal.
  2.  write a letter to your mom.
  3. make a gallery wall of your recent vacay photos.
  4.  declutter your makeup collection.
  5. learn a new card game.
  6. take your dog for a walk.
  7. hydrate!
  8. read a classic novel.
  9. learn about a new hobby you’d like to start.
  10. do a facemask (or 10).
  11. text a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time.
  12. make a friend, sister, significant a healthy meal.
  13.  write down your goals for the week.
  14. donate 5 articles of clothing you never wear.
  15. start a conversation with someone on Twitter who tweets you love, but you don’t know personally.
  16.  watch a TED talk about something you’re interested in learning, or starting.
  17. create a Pinterest board of REALISTIC goals for the month.
  18. tell someone three things you absolutely love about them.
  19. write reviews for your favorite books on Amazon.
  20. back up old photos to your laptop to make storage space on your phone.
  21. spend some extra time with your dog.
  22. make a gratitude list.
  23. meditate.
  24. read a book you’ve never picked up, but owned forever.
  25. discover + support unknown artists on YouTube.
  26. enter a blogger’s giveaway.
  27. listen to an inspirational audiobook.
  28. delete useless apps on your phone.


Previous Post Next Post


  • Reply Grace

    yes girl yes!! i can so easily get sucked into grey’s anatomy or army wives…love all the suggestions you gave, especially the ted talk suggestion. there are SO many good one! xoxo

    January 16, 2017 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Branson Merrill

    If everybody started writing more letters to their mothers the world would be a happier place 😉 Love it! And I like the twitter idea as well!

    January 16, 2017 at 10:56 am
  • Reply Abbey

    This is great! 🙂 My husband and I are working on being more intentional this year, and one of our ways to do that is limiting our movie time! We’ve started playing a lot more games and reading more! 🙂

    January 16, 2017 at 11:07 am
  • Reply Jamie Beckham

    It’s like this post was made for me Carolyn! Thanks for sharing this.

    Netflix has definitely been taking way too much of my time after I get off of work. Sometimes I just wanna relax for a little bit, but then that “only going to watch one episode” turns into 5.

    Totally going to start doing all of these, and being more intentional in my time!

    xx, Jamie

    January 16, 2017 at 11:23 am
  • Reply Sara Laughed

    This list is so fun and creative. I stopped watching Netflix alone two years ago because I realized I was wasting a ton of time. I love these original alternatives so much that I shared them on Twitter. Thanks for this great post idea!

    January 16, 2017 at 11:46 am
  • Reply Anna

    I was literally planning to watch Netflix after commenting on some blog posts, but now I think I might opt for something more productive! I’m thinking of cleaning out my tupperware drawer (yikes, but it needs to be done!) Great list, girl!
    -Anna |

    January 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm
  • Reply Shane

    I can’t sit in front of Netflix and binge watch for hours. I’d much rather be doing something productive such as… cough cough.. blogging 🙂

    January 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    These are all great suggestions! If you get sucked into a Netflix binge you lose SO MUCH time!

    January 16, 2017 at 3:15 pm
  • Reply Bella

    This is such a great list! I love sitting down and reading a good book!

    January 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    Yes I love this! These are such amazing ideas.

    January 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm
  • Reply Rachel Ritlop

    While I love these ideas, I love my Netflix haha. I can do these simultaneously, no? haha

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    January 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm
  • Reply Silvia

    These are all such wonderful ideas! Cleaning out clutter is my usual go to. I have so much stuff hanging around the house that doesn’t need to be here.

    January 16, 2017 at 7:17 pm
  • Reply Michaela

    Such a great list. I’m working to read more rather than watch Netflix.

    January 16, 2017 at 8:26 pm
  • Reply Samantha | The Life You Love Blog

    That introduction perfectly described my day after work, except I also napped. I love all of these ideas. I love that some are super creative, some are relaxing, and some are just because.

    January 16, 2017 at 9:01 pm
  • Reply Katie

    I feel like this was made for me, haha! If I find myself sitting around to much, I like to declutter my space or do a workout circuit to get my blood flowing.

    January 16, 2017 at 9:16 pm
  • Reply Grace

    This is an awesome list to refer to! I totally love the idea of ted talks!

    January 17, 2017 at 10:57 am
  • Reply Alix Maza

    I totally need to clean out my makeup collection. Thanks for the reminder!

    Alix |

    January 17, 2017 at 4:42 pm
  • Reply Corsica Nambiar

    This list was made for someone like me, I seriously bookmarked and I can’t wait to do EACH thing. I watch way too much TV.

    January 17, 2017 at 4:49 pm
  • Reply Hannah

    Girl I really needed this list because I am always distracted by Netflixs and finishing series! It can make my day super unproductive so I love these tips:)

    xoxo, Hannah

    January 18, 2017 at 9:58 am
  • Reply Erica @ Coming Up Roses

    What a fabulous post idea – I’m inspired to NOT watch Netflix at *all* today now!

    Coming Up Roses

    January 18, 2017 at 10:19 am
  • Leave a Reply