Study Says: If You Want To Be Happier Stop Scheduling This

A new study soon to be published in the journal "Current Opinion in Psychology" finds that our social calendar might actually be sucking the joy out of our free time. The study says that when we schedule our leisurely activities, they aren't spontaneous and therefore, we enjoy it less.

The study finds that because we schedule our fun time, it gets lumped in with all the other things we schedule, you know, like a doctors appointment or parent-teacher meeting. So when you schedule a coffee date with your friend, it makes a seemingly fun activity, feel more like a chore.

Selin A. Malkoc, an associate professor of marketing at Ohio State University--one of the study's co-authors, says "It becomes part of our to-do list. As an outcome, they become less enjoyable."

The paper also reads "The focus on productivity is so widespread that people even strive to make leisure productive and brag about being busy."

So basically we do more...and enjoy less.

How do we enjoy our free time more then?

Malkoc suggests "rough scheduling." That's where you schedule a meeting for lunch or an after-work drink, but not assigning it a time. The idea is to keep it flexible. So if a loose plan doesn't happen, then it might be a better outcome because one of the parties was forcing themselves to make it happen and therefore enjoy it less.

Wanna meet for lunch? Yeah, sometime on Thursday around when people typically eat lunch. This will probably be a lot more difficult than it sounds.

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