Watching football on TV is a great waste of time.

But with a bit of preparation and a little energy, you can turn the weekend ritual into productive use that reduces your work for the rest of the week.

Get tasks done that you never seem to have the time to complete. Football is an ideal sport during which to multitask due to the length of the game and the many breaks in the action. Being more productive also may reduce resentment in your spouse or even reduce guilt (if you have any).

Organize: Watching football is a great time to organize. It may be a desk drawer, old photos, sorting through mail or filing away important papers. Whatever it is, make sure it's in front of you when the game begins.

Personal finances: Take out your checkbook and a calculator so you can balance it. Open your financial mail, review bills that have arrived and write checks for those that need to be paid. Review your bank and credit-card statements and reconcile charges with your receipts. Begin getting all the receipts organized for next year's taxes.

Exercise: Do some light exercise, lift weights or stretch. Due to the length of the games, you can get in a pretty good workout.

Five-minute clean-ups: Make it a challenge. Simply pick a place in your house that needs cleaning and head there during commercial breaks. By the end of the game, you should have made a good dent.

Laundry: Get your laundry started before the game begins and work on it throughout. Not only will you be able to get all your clothes cleaned and dried, you should have the time to get everything folded and even ironed so that all your clothes are ready for the week ahead.

Improve your job: Update and improve your resume. Think about people you want to touch base with in the coming week. Write "thank you" cards to all those who have been helpful the previous week. Reread reports you have due and check for errors.

Pet and plant care: Brush the cat or dog, clip nails and perform other pet-care basics. If you don't have pets, care for your plants. Take the time to check for insects, give them nutrients, pull off dead leaves and water them.

Hobby: No matter your hobby, there is probably something you can do while also watching the football came. If you collect, sort through or rearrange your collection as needed. You may want to give your collection a good cleaning or get part of it ready to trade or sell.

Volunteer work: If you support an organization, contact its office and ask for any busy work you could take on. Stuffing envelopes, making fliers, sorting information or other similar tasks always need to be done.

Make lists: Stay organized. Decide which meals you want to eat for the week, which will determine what needs to be added to your grocery list. Fill out your "to do" list for the coming week or look at your work calendar to see if there are any preparations for meetings or events that need to be made.
Jeffrey Strain has been a freelance personal finance writer for the past 10 years helping people save money and get their finances in order. He currently owns and runs SavingAdvice.com.