How reality tv impacts my reality

I’ve always known that my physical surroundings can greatly impact my productivity, but I’ve only recently noticed how other things can creep in and leave their mark.

Even before I worked at home full-time I did a lot of work at home – from blogging to writing my books to doing work I brought home. I found it was nearly impossible for me to do work if my office wasn’t clean and organized. If I didn’t take care of my filing and such during my downtime, I couldn’t stop myself from doing it during what should have been work time.

As soon as I recognized I had the problem, I took measures to correct it. Instead of bringing my mail into my office and dumping it on top of the filing cabinet for later, I filed it right away. Or when I was chatting with a friend on the phone at night, I’d go into my office and take care of any outstanding organizing. Then when I was ready to go into my office and work nothing would distract me.

However, I’ve found something new that impacts my productivity. Television.

Yes, I know that sounds like a no-brainer. Few people can be productive while watching television. My problem isn’t watching television when I should be working – it’s how television impacts my mood that can be the problem.

I don’t work Monday through Friday from 9 to 5. I work at some point every day. Sometimes I work from 6-11 a.m. and then from 2-4 p.m. and again from 7-9 p.m. Other times I work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with only breaks for the bathroom and to throw together lunch to eat at my desk.

When I have some downtime and am home alone, I either read or watch television. If I’ve already been reading a lot for work that day, I generally choose recorded television. I watch a wide variety of shows, but several of them are reality shows, and I’ve noticed they impact my mood far more profoundly than other shows. Sometimes for the better…but other times not so much.

So, I thought it would be fun to share with you the shows that make me more productive…and the one that kill my motivation.

Interesting enough, most of the shows I watch improve my productivity. Really, they do.

Giuliana & Bill: This show follows couple Giuliana & Bill Rancic. Giuliana is a host on E! and Bill won the first season of The Apprentice. After I watch this show, I’m ready to take on the world! Both Giuliana and Bill are ambitious and hard-working individuals. It’s contagious. It always makes me want to start a new project (which, ok, maybe isn’t the best thing for my already-busy schedule) or get back to work on something. Love it!

Dance Moms: If you haven’t seen this show, it follows a group of young dancers and their perfectionist of a dance teacher. Chadd, my long-time boyfriend, thinks it’s terrible. The teacher is very demanding and there’s lots of yelling. What I see when I watch it, however, is how motivated and talented the dancers are. I watch them achieve things and it makes me want to achieve things.

Bethenny Ever After: I’m devastated this one is over. It followed the life and career of Bethenny Frankel, creator of the SkinnyGirl empire. She’s a type-A perfectionist and incredibly ambitious. I watch her have career success, and I want to work on my own career.

Real Housewives of Orange County: This show follows the lives of five women in Orange County, California. It depicts them as being extremely wealthy and just generally enjoying life. To be honest, I only watch it when I’m caught up on all my other shows, but I probably shouldn’t even do that. Why? Because it makes me lazy and unmotivated. I can’t articulate why, but I never walk away from that show ready to get back to work. There are a couple of women on the show who are ambitious and serious about their businesses, but the focus is more on the drama of the relationship between the girls, which I guess is part of why it doesn’t have a positive impact on me.

There are also a few that I just enjoy and don’t seem to impact my ability to work one way or the other:

Big Brother

Flipping Out

Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis 

So, there you have it. What about you? Do reality shows impact you this way?

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