Watching TV Productive things to do instead of watching TV

9 Productive Things To Do Before Bed {Instead of Watching TV}

Author: Lauren Coleman

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds the lure of evening TV very tempting. I blame Netflix. However, as we all know there are only 24 hours in a day and sometimes there are more productive ways to spend one of those hours. It’s less than 5% of the entire day but I’ve found it’s surprising what I can accomplish in a little window.

Before I had Felix I thought I was busy. What the hell was I thinking?! A gorgeous bundle of loveliness landed on this earth consuming every single moment of my time! Seven months in and I’m beginning to get around an hour a day after his bedtime where the dinner’s been eaten, the floors are swept, the nappy bag is packed. I’ve got sixty glorious minutes to myself (before the monitor goes and I’m needed upstairs!)

One Productive Hour

Gentle Work-Out

I’ve covered a lot of miles on maternity leave and have walked all over the county. Now I’m back at my desk I want to make sure I keep moving as it’s good for the body and the soul.

Plan Our Next Holiday

After the success of our Seville trip we’re thinking of heading to Paris next month. I need to scour the internet to build a flexible itinerary for our visit to the City Of Light. Feel free to hit me with any suggestions.


I often see folks recommend podcasts and TED talks on instagram and then promptly forget about them. I’ve started to screenshot suggestions and add them to a folder on my phone so I can dig them out and have a listen.


My skincare routine has gone out of the window. I’m still feeding at night so the retinol and acids I was using pre-pregnancy are still out. I need to start researching and implementing a new routine to try to bring my skin back from the dead.

Mini DIY Jobs

There’s a list the length of my arm of little DIY jobs in the house I’d like to do. I’m inspired to give this tutorial for a DIY Dowel Magazine Rack a whirl and would like to paint my dressing table too.

Video Editing

As well as continuing in with the 1 second a day app, I’m also starting to put all the video footage from my phone into some form of melodramatic montage documenting ‘Felix’s firsts’ so I can sob into my breakfast over his milestones. I’m regretting I didn’t capture more of those early days, and in landscape format too!

Outfit Plan

Nothing fits and I have no idea where half of my wardrobe is. I need to pull my finger out and start a summer capsule so that getting ready in the morning isn’t a chore. First step is to try every single item on and start a charity pile.


If it ever stops raining then I’d like to get outside. I spent most of last summer indoors as I had NVP through my entire pregnancy. Our garden was a bit of a mess as result. This year James and I have been grabbing some minutes in the evening to try and get it back in shape (let’s face it, it’s never going to be Kew) but it’s our patch of green and we love it.

Watch TV

So TV has snuck its way on to the list. Last week Felix had a cold, I was up most of the night with him and so last week managed just one work out, edited a bit of his video and did a bit of weeding. Sometimes sitting on your arse really is the best medicine. Rather than turning the TV on and watching whatever flickered before my eyes I was a lot more considered and had a few shows queued up. I’ve really enjoyed Dead to Me (particularly as it’s only 30 minutes) and am a bit far behind but think Fleabag is a stroke of genius.

Anyone else try to grab an hour of me time a day to do something relaxing or productive? Are you ever surprised at how much you can get done if the TV stays off?


Header image from Claire’s beautiful home tour

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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15 thoughts on “9 Productive Things To Do Before Bed {Instead of Watching TV}

  1. Love this Lauren! I’m not a mummy but I am a Secondary school teacher who has more time on my hands now that GCSEs & A Levels are finished, so actually getting some inspiration for productivity in the evenings is so well timed. Thank you, Lovely!

    1. Ah Ciara, bet you’re so glad they’ve all come to an end for another year. Enjoy your evenings! x

  2. Yes to all the above, but most especially sitting on your arse sometimes when you need it! Also, selfish mummy time is necessary for being the best mummy you can be in my book – so do that workout when you need it, or watch that TV if you want to (hello Killing Eve!). Being a mummy is hard work, you need to have some time to yourself when you aren’t ticking jobs off the list (unless you want to of course 🙂 )

  3. My two absolute favourite things to do in this time are reading and painting. So relaxing and they are things that cannot be done (in a restorative way at least) while kids are running about.

    1. I’m finding I can do more and more things with Felix about as he can do some quite good stints of independent play now, but it’s not the same when you have to be on high alert all the time!

  4. I have seen that Lindsey Rabwell on instagram is doing a #dailydiy hashtag, with the idea of people sharing their little wins that they can do in an hour or so in the evening or over lunch/whilst little ones nap. We have found that approach really helps us to not feel paralysed by the enormity of tasks that inevitably build up when you’re focusing on baby. On the Paris front I don’t have tons of recommendations but think things like picnics on the ile st louis, strolling from the Marais and Hotel de Ville along the river down to the Louvre and Tuileries gardens would be lovely with a little one not yet on the move at this time of year. Also if you have the time to get out of the city and go to the Chateau de Versailles the gardens are absolutely gorgeous (I would probably give the house itself a miss with a baby…) and have a really different feel. I also really love the Grand and Petit Palais buildings, they often have great exhibitions on and the tea rooms there are lovely for a break. The Musee des Arts Decoratifs also often has very sweet exhibitions on, I saw a gorgeous Babar one there a few years back. Most of all on the mummy front the advice others are giving to make sure you can always chuck your list out of the window and sit on the sofa when you need it is really important, as I know everyone says it but time flies and you can’t get it back. Also, welcome back, lovely to read you on here again! xx

    1. Thanks so much India. It’s lovely to be back.
      Thank you for all the Paris suggestions – these sound fab x

  5. I have that hour each night too and way too frequently I waste it! I need to do lots of video editing too….which app or program are you using? Thanks!

  6. You shouldn’t call that time when you do nothing or watch tv as wasted – it’s so important to let go and just ‘be’. Be nice to yourself and don’t feel that every minute of the day has to be filled with something useful or productive. #justsaying!

  7. Maybe don’t throw anything too precious away until you’ve stopped feeding, your body might have a further transformation after stopping feeding as it stops storing fat in the same way, and your baby starts moving so you don’t sit down much! – I guess at that point, when you do get a moment, watch the TV 😉 love the idea of painting or weeding instead of tv though x

    1. Ha! He started crawling this weekend so I get the point about no longer sitting down! Don’t worry nothing too precious is going away just yet but it’s been nice to clear all the maternity stuff out.

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