Nowadays we love to plan our every move. We schedule our work and our work-outs. We even plan time to have fun. When you want to catch up with a friend, you’re planning a dinner weeks in advance. You set a time and date, and even pick a restaurant. Sounds familiar? It’s just a very efficient way of living life, right?
It certainly makes us very productive but it can also have its drawbacks.
Research shows that scheduling your leisure time makes you enjoy it less.
The study, by Olin Business School, examined how scheduling leisure activities affects the way you experience these events. Results showed that when you assign a specific date and time for a fun activity, it makes it feel like a chore. Both the anticipation of the activity as well as the enjoyment from it decreased once it was planned.
Why is that? When you plan an activity you are structuring your time. Structured time feels more like work, a chore or an obligation. As a result, people become less excited and even resentful towards such scheduled leisure. Maybe more importantly, they also enjoy scheduled leisure significantly less than unscheduled leisure.
So stop planning and start enjoying!