An article for Morning Consult written in 2018 states, “According to a new Morning Consult/Hollywood Reporter poll, 60 percent of adults who watch shows on demand said they binge-watched television, defined as watching two or more consecutive episodes of a show, at least once a week.” (Sabin, 2018). Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t consider two back to back episodes of a show to be binge watching so they may need to update that definition some. That being said, I have certainly fell victim to a binge watching session or two, or many more than that. It’s just so easy to lose track of time and find yourself sitting on the couch until that dreaded screen pops up that says “Are You Still Watching?” and you just feel awful about yourself.
Television is not the only thing we binge though. We binge eat, we binge drink, we binge social media (especially with the concept of reels). We binge when we just lose track of time and how much we have consumed.
I would consider the idea of a flow state to be similar to a binge, but certainly more productive. According to Headspace, “When you’re giving your fullest attention to an activity or task that you are incredibly passionate about, singularly focused on, and totally immersed in, you may find yourself creating the conditions necessary to experience a flow state.” (Headspace, n.d). Sounds kind of like a binge, but for work instead of play. I have also found myself in a flow state before, but am not left with feelings of regret when it is interrupted like a binge watching period.
Whether I am in binge-watching mode or in a flow state, time passes without me realizing it. To make sure that time is not passing me by, leaving me too focused on one task or just wasting time away, I have started using a timer. This is not a new concept as a timer is used in the Pomodoro technique for being productive as well. For those of you who don’t know what the Pomodoro technique is Kate Boogaard of The Muse defines it as “a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have – rather than against it. Using this method, you break your work day into 25 minute chunks separated by five minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as Pomodoros.” (Boogaard, n.d.).
While the Pomodoro technique is meant to be used to force you to work for an interval of time, knowing that you have a break coming when the timer goes off, I am using it to stop me from working. I have a tendency to go down rabbit holes at work and find myself lost after a while. The timer allows me to stop, recognize what I am doing and refocus on what I should be doing. The same concept applies when I am aimlessly watching tv at night when I could be working on things here.
Whether it be a binge or a flow state, I don’t want time to pass me by without being intentional about it. I don’t want to see that “Are you still watching” screen or look away from the computer monitor at work to realize I missed a walk or worked through lunch. I want to be intentional about my time and pay attention to how I am spending it and this modified Pomodoro technique is how I am doing that.
Boogaard, K. (n.d.) Take it From Someone Who Hates Productivity Hacks – The Pomodoro Technique Actually Works. The Muse. Retrieved from [https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.themuse.com/amp/advice/take-it-from-someone-who-hates-productivity-hacksthe-pomodoro-technique-actually-works]
Headspace. (n.d.) What is a Flow State and What are its Benefits? Headspace. Retrieved from [https://www.headspace.com/articles/flow-state]
Sabin, S. (2018, November 6). Most Young Adults Have an Appetite for Binge-Watching Shows. Morning Consult. Retrieved from [https://morningconsult.com/2018/11/06/most-young-adults-have-an-appetite-for-binge-watching-shows/]