Score one for being spontaneous: You might have more fun scheduling same-day events than making plans days in advance, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.
In the study, people who arranged to meet up with their friends later that day looked forward to the hangout 7 percent more than those who planned the event two days in advance.
That’s probably because we naturally tend to associate planning with work, says study coauthor Gabriela Tonietto, Ph.D. (c).
So when you see an event tacked up on your calendar for the coming weekend, your brain links it to something you have to do—kind of like that Monday morning meeting at the office.
On the other hand, when you let your plans develop more spontaneously, your time feels more unstructured—and enjoyable, Tonietto says.
Just don’t slack: If you wait until the end of the day to see if your mate wants to grab a drink after work, you run the risk of him no longer being free to hang.
Instead, throw out ideas earlier in the day to gauge interest and availability without nailing down specifics.
Text your friend in the morning about drinks in the evening, then follow up around 5pm to confirm a time and place. That’ll help create more of a flexible feeling, Tonietto says.