Why You Shouldn't Make Plans This Weekend, According to Science


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As you kick off the weekend, you may be tempted to slate several plans into your schedule to make you feel like you're maximizing your time off. Well, you may want to think again. As it turns out, making concrete plans can actually suck the fun out of the weekend. Though you'd expect set plans to increase your sense of anticipation and excitement, they actually reduce your enjoyment, and what could have been an amusing activity turns into an appointment to keep.

Selin Malkoc, assistant professor of marketing at Ohio State University, recently explored this phenomenon in a column on The Conversation. She highlights 13 studies that find that "simple act of scheduling makes otherwise fun tasks feel more like work." Structuring your weekend around a strict schedule, regardless of how enjoyable the activities on the agenda are, causes us to perceive our leisure time as work.

The solution? Make vague plans minus the precise meeting times, and then firm them up the day of. You'll still be engaging in your social life, but you'll avoid making socializing feel like work.

Agree with these findings? Try this science-backed strategy out this weekend then head to the comments to let us know how it went.