TV to Binge for Distracted Productivity

Anyone else out there work better on non-critical thinking tasks with a little bit of noise? Like, I’m not going to complete a speech and language assessment with the TV on, but I sure hustle through some housework with a good show. These are shows that are “boring” but when combined with other tasks I find boring, or have the “don’t wants,” the borings cancel each other out and leave me feeling motivated.

Here are my favorite shows to “watch” while “working.”

The Great British Bakeoff. [Netflix; PBS] Soothing, non-threatening competition that requires little to no effort to follow along… and when I miss a chunk of an episode, no big deal. The combo of British accents and beautiful bakes is a winner.

The Great British Baking Show Holidays. [Netflix] A spinoff of my fave GBBO, this too features its winning formula of kind competitiveness and cheeky humor alongside a bit of awe at the amazing bakes these home bakers create.

The Great British Baking Show Masterclass. [Netflix; PBS] This is just Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry and it is oh so wonderful. The masters teaching some of the favorite bakes in the tent, and the friendly chemistry these two have together is so sweet.

Nadiya Bakes. [Netflix] Honestly, another GBBO spin-off. Nadiya Hussain is one of my all-time faves from the show… and obviously, everyone else’s because she has not one, but TWO Netflix specials. I prefer this one though just because she seems much more laid back and her recipes are drool-worthy.

Rick Steves’ Europe. [PBS; PrimeVideo] The classic corny travel show. I’ll pop this on while folding laundry to pretend I’m actually folding in the Swiss Alps or along the Mediterranean coast… and sometimes when I need to induce a quick nap. Rick’s even tone is soothing, and his itineraries are amazing.

Wheel of Fortune. [ABC; Netflix] It’s America’s game, y’all! Seriously though, Pat is cringey at best, but man the nostalgia hits hard. Plus I feel super smart when I can solve a puzzle long before the other contestants.

Jeopardy. [ABC; Netflix] Another game show, but this one speaks to the former Quiz Bowler in me. I can almost feel the buzzer in my hand as I yell out “WHAT IS PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND!” to the clue “The setting of Anne of Green Gables.”

Men in Kilts. [Starz] This one stars two of the most handsome men in Hollywood… or in the British Isles, Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, as they travel across Scotland featuring what makes it so special. Book me a flight, y’all, because I’m ready to travel over the sea to Skye (that’s an Outlander reference). They are fun to watch and really do showcase the beauty of Scotland.

True Crime Documentaries. Any of them. No stress about keeping up with clues, because the case is already solved… notice I did not recommend Unsolved Mysteries… because it takes too much of my brainpower to try to solve those, and we are looking for easy-breezy television consumption here.

Sarah Keating
Sarah is a 30-something mom of four children under six and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She returned to Acadiana two years ago following her husband’s completion of medical school and residency in Shreveport. After the move, Sarah switched gears from full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist and working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to her brood. Her current hobbies include “speech-therapizing” her children, re-reading the Outlander series, catching up on her Netflix queue after the kids go to bed, completing XHIT videos at naptime, and taking her medication every morning. She loves and respects the sacredness of motherhood, but sometimes you just have to let go and laugh it out. Motherhood has been the most humbling, and empowering journey she has experienced.


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