Balancing TV series, deadlines proves effective, efficient

Illustration by Maeve Plunkett

Illustration by Maeve Plunkett

Savera Zulfiqar , columnist

Some might say it is impossible to have it all- to have all of your homework done, manage to be on track for the episodes of all of your TV shows and still manage to get a decent amount of sleep. But by watching Sherlock and reading The Sound and The Fury at the same time, I’ve managed to have the best of both worlds; catching up on Sherlock and finishing AP Language reading for tomorrow with all other homework done by 10 p.m.

People think witchcraft is involved, the time is being wasted multitasking, there’s a lack of concentration or that I’m just flat out lying. But the great thing is that I’m not lying, and yes, I understand The Sound and the Fury and I did get a sufficient amount of sleep that night. How?

I have found that watching television throughout the week has not deteriorated my productivity but, in fact, has helped to improve my grades significantly. Currently, I am following six TV shows and manage to keep up with them most of the time. The only reason I might not watch any episodes of a show is when I have a test, quiz, paper or project due the next day.

As a freshman, I got into watching YouTube and really only watched TV occasionally for the Oscars or the Grammy’s or for a TV special of sorts. Thus, my minutes of YouTube turned to hours, and I would end up watching sci-fi makeup tutorials that I had no intention of ever emulating as many other students do when doing homework.

As a result, I would be staying up later than I should have, doing homework and having a feeling of failure and increased stress from watching videos that I should have enjoyed, but couldn’t because the guilt outweighed the pleasure.

I then began getting into watching TV more as I discovered shows that were closer to my interest, such as the Flash, the Arrow, Supergirl (notice a common theme yet?), Glee, the Voice (such talent), etc.

Not having the holy grail of TV shows, Netflix, I would watch the shows as they came on every week or record them to watch later. This process made me more determined to map my time out, so I could watch the next episode when it came out.

This led me to reevaluate my studying habits and realize how YouTube was the root cause of my procrastination, not the act of procrastinating itself. Because YouTube videos each have different unstructured times, watching one or two or 10 was not a good measure of how much time I wasted.

TV shows instead come in either 20 minutes, 40 minutes or 90 minutes. Therefore, if you watch one, you know exactly how much time you spent. Watching a TV series is a big commitment which, like any other, requires thought and attention. YouTube videos, on the other hand, are short videos in most cases, and therefore, we are coerced into watching one and then another, leading to a major time loss.

Watching TV also has helped me become better at school, not only because it limits how much time I spend not doing homework, but it also makes me more aware of what is being projected to the public on a large scale. Those themes and ideas give me great nuggets to mention as hooks in essays. Although certain YouTube stars may not be known to teachers, mainstream television will and referencing such media can make you seem more aware.

Certain television shows also have a way of incorporating actual knowledge into jaw dropping, tear jerking tv shows. Timeless, for example (#bringbacktheTimeTeam), is about a dangerous time controlling Illuminati type cult and three heroes who try to stop them from messing up time.

Even though the cult is fake (hopefully), the history is all accurate and is super useful in understanding history and immersing yourself in the time period.

Because I watch TV shows on, well, a TV and not a computer, I can do certain homework assignments while I’m “watching” TV but only if the show doesn’t require much attention to plot. Through sorting TV shows to certain days and only watching the TV of the day, there isn’t a feeling of guilt or a sense of loss when I’ve completed an entire series in one sitting with no homework done and it’s 2 a.m. Instead, I make my way through TV shows and my workload steadily and I can be in bed by 10 pm.