DEAR HARRIETTE: I subscribe to a few different streaming services, including Roku, Netflix and Apple TV. It’s great because I don’t have regular cable anymore, which saves me money. But I can’t stop watching TV. I am a freelance writer, and I work from home. Business has been kind of slow the past few months, which is why I ended up even having time to watch TV in the first place. But I have started binge watching different shows, and I find myself watching TV more than doing my work. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I can’t seem to turn it off. How can I get this under control? -- TV Addict, Jersey City, New Jersey
DEAR TV ADDICT: You are not alone in the binge-watching arena. Indeed, media companies have figured out how to present television series so that people will watch them endlessly, always wanting more. That said, you absolutely do not have to succumb to this behavior, nor can you afford to do so.
Make a schedule each day. Prioritize your work. Break it down to include time when you will pitch new ideas to your freelance clients, time to write, time to research, etc. Frame out each hour so that you are clear about your responsibilities. Add your personal duties to your to-do list as well. Only after you have completed your work should you give yourself time to watch your favorite shows. The good news is that you can watch these programs on demand. Be grateful for that option, and organize your schedule accordingly. Do not turn the TV on until you are in the time slot you have allowed yourself to watch TV. Set an alarm for when the time is up, so that you will promptly turn off the TV.