Streaming services have become a staple in every household. And we, as viewers, are constantly being spoiled with new TV series coming out on a regular basis. And though it’s wonderful because of the entertainment options it provides, it raises the same question every time: should I just be binge-watching this show?
It’s so easy to press play once and consume the entire season in one go. But spending hours upon hours staring at a screen is hardly the healthiest activity you can do, both mentally and physically. So here are some ways you can prevent yourself from falling into the pits of binge-watching shows.
1. Use App Blockers
Manage screen time using app blockers. You can use app blockers to prevent you from wasting too much time binging a series, when it’s much better to split up your viewing time and take frequent breaks.
Most app blockers let you set a timer for how long you want the app to be inaccessible. Once that time is up, you’re free to use the app once again. It’s a great way to take a break between episodes.
Whether you turn to app blockers to avoid distraction and improve focus or just to stay away from the show for a bit, know that they’re excellent either way.
2. Set reminder
Sometimes you get too wrapped up in the moment, and time slips away from you. If you want to save yourself valuable time from binging, use reminders.
You can set different reminder tools to help you take frequent breaks to avoid binge-watching an entire show in one go. For example, if you’re watching a show on your PC, you can set a reminder in Windows. Or, if you’re used to staring at a different screen, you can always get an iPhone app to set break reminders.
If it seems too easy to ignore or miss, you can turn to your Google Home to remind you that it’s time for a break. Don’t get swept up in a show only to come out eight hours later in a daze and feel like you spent your day looking at a screen.
3. Stop Using Autoplay
Autoplay enables binging more than anything. Even if you’re undecided about whether to continue watching, it takes that option away from you. All you have to do is go a little too slow or don’t realize where you left the remote, and that’s it. The next episode is already underway.
Were you thinking of stopping by? Well, it’s too late now because it’s already started, so you might as well continue, right? So you just let it go and spend way too much time in front of the screen.
If you want to avoid it, just turn off autoplay—yes, you can. It’s as easy as going into your Settings and disabling the feature.
With no autoplay, you can stop binging before things get out of hand because you actively decide whether or not to continue watching. You have to choose to play episode number four and realize that you have already spent three hours staring at the screen.
4. Have a Watch Party
Watch parties are a lot of fun, and it’s safe to say that every major streaming service offers a way for you to do so. So take advantage, and have a watch party with friends or family. What better way to pace yourself with the show than by following multiple schedules?
After all, not everyone can spend eight continuous hours watching (or more with some series), so you’ll be forced to split up your viewing time. This way, it’s a way to look ahead every time you gather and avoid straining your eyes.
Of course, since there are so many ways to watch movies online together, you don’t have to wait for your friends or family. You can also keep it spicy, send a link on social media platforms like Twitter and invite strangers to your party. Think about the commentary you’ll be sharing as you watch.
You can even create an event with a different theme for each episode to keep it fun. For example, you can get themed drinks or snacks or dress as certain characters to match the vibe of the show. You also have a lot of freedom in how you watch the show – one episode a day, every other day, or a weekly watch party.
Watch parties force you to pace yourself, so you won’t be able to binge a show in one sitting, but at the same time, they make watching a more fun experience. So give it a try the next time a show drops on Netflix. After all, too much binge-watching can harm your health, so it’s best to avoid it.
5. Use a Show to Reward Your Productivity
If you view watching episodes as a reward for good behavior, you’ll undoubtedly give your episodes at least some space. Think about it; You watch an episode after completing a task.