Unplanned Weekends are Better, Researchers Say


If you have spent hours and hours of your weekdays for your work, you might always be looking forward to the weekends, that's without a doubt. And one common mistake we do is to plan for it ahead of time, think of the activities we'd like to do, people we're going to hang out with, places we'd like to visit, etc. Little do we know that the actual planning itself can actually ruin the weekends or make them a little less enjoyable.

In the attempt to live our daily lives with more organization, we tend to rely on schedules a lot and that's why we also tend to schedule the ones that are supposed to be "fun activities" during the weekends. But they don't have to be scheduled and they don't have to feel like work too. This is supported by 13 studies that suggest that the act of scheduling even your weekend plans will make them feel more like work.

Scheduled activities, even if it is as simple as grabbing coffee with some friends, turn out to be less fun and enjoyable compared to the ones that are done impromptu. This is according to Gabbie Tonietto, a Ph.D. candidate in marketing, who did an experiment in this phenomenon.

In her experiment, she found that those who had their activities scheduled enjoyed them less and it has to do with the structures of scheduling time. When you plan and schedule something, you set a start and end points and these are linked to constrained freedom. It makes a person feel as though it's more of an obligation or a task instead of a spontaneous activity done just for fun and relaxation. If this continues, it will only reduce a participant's desire to engage in these activities.

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