Netflix vs. Willpower: A Student Struggle


A faint light appears, growing brighter to reveal a face. The clock on the bedside table reads 3:00am. A chip packet and pizza crusts occupy the bed, along with the Netflix-watcher. Their Netflix history shows they’ve been watching Dogs with Jobs for the past four hours. 

ZOOM IN to reveal the next episode countdown. “3, 2, 1”. They clicked too late. A dog bounds across the screen.

We’ve all been here, one minute it’s 11:00 and you just want to watch one episode before bed and the next minute it’s 4:00 am and you’re wondering exactly how you watched 5 episodes of a TV show without even realizing it (its probably that 15 second countdown’s fault, if you don’t move your mouse quick enough another episode starts and then you have to watch it, right?). We’re students, it happens.

Sometimes though you end up getting hooked on a tv show and watch 81 episodes of it in 12 days and realize that you need to change something or you’re going to fail all your classes…

a screenshot of a netflix screen. The mouse is hovering over a TV show (White Collar) and a small box with a description has popped up. I've rated it 5 stars.
The reason for this post

SO, here are the things I tried to get me to stop watching so much Netflix.

1. work in a public placea laptop, tim hortons to go cup an a light green notebook with a drawing of two people riding bikes on it are shown on a brown table.

If you’re working in a library the judging stares of your fellow students will shame you and keep you from watching Netflix.

a table at Robarts, in the foreground is a laptop, in the background in focus are two girls looking very judgementally at the camera. They also have laptops. On the table are timbits, water bottles, a pencil case, and a tim hortons coffee cup.
Bring your friends and tell them to judge you hard if they catch you procrastinating. Bringing snacks can also make a day spent in Robarts better.

2. read a book two rows of a bookshelf. The bottom row has old books that are mostly bound in reddish binding and a bust of homer wearing a velvet bowtie. The top shelf has more modern books.

Remember how great reading for pleasure used to be? Instead of watching TV before bed I started reading a book before bed again. The problem with this method was I still stayed up till 3:00 AM but it felt a lot better to read for 4 hours then to watch something for 4 hours.

 3. go for a walk convocation hall from the middle of Kings College Circle. It is snowing heavily and the sky is grey.

Studies show that being active on your study breaks help you retain information.  This past week has been pretty chilly but when the sun has been out its been pretty nice to walk around campus or explore the city. Walks in the snow can also be really good photo ops.

a sideview of the UC building in the snow. It is snowing heavily.

4. admit defeat a computer on a white bedspread. On the computer screen is the front page of netflix that shows suggestions to watch.

Go ahead and finish the show. If you get it out of your system and don’t have a cliffhanger ending taunting you you’ll be more likely to actually get work done. Problem solved.

If anyone has any tips on not procrastinating let me know in the comments below or on twitter at @Amie_UofT 


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