What’s on your calendar this week? Meetings, appointments, phone calls? How about fun? There is nothing wrong with scheduling leisure activities.
In today’s busy world, having dinner with friends, relaxing with your family, or going on a picnic or to a movie often require planning.
But new research suggests that you’ll enjoy fun activities more if you loosen the reins a little.
Scheduling roughly, rather than rigidly, can help to ensure that your hoped-for R&R time doesn’t end up increasing your stress levels.
(No, you’re not the only one who gets stressed out on weekends and vacation!) Instead of planning to go for a walk with your spouse at 7:00 PM sharp, plan to do it after dinner — whatever time that ends up being.
And as much as possible, allow activities to be open-ended rather than having a “hard stop.” (Checking the time when you’re in the middle of a great conversation is a serious buzzkill!) Finally, avoid stacking up too many activities in a row.
If you’re on vacation, for instance, don’t schedule a tennis game immediately followed by surfing lessons immediately followed by a massage.
While you may really need that massage, you’ll likely be too worried about getting all of the timing right to enjoy each activity fully.
The name of the game is managing time in such a way that you’re able to enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it, without having your thoughts drift to the future.
If that sounds like mindfulness, it is! “Be here now” isn’t just for the meditation cushion — it’s a good motto for daily life.
Source: Activity versus outcome maximization in time management.