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Why you don't want to do "nothing" this weekend

(MoneyWatch) We're all busy. After a long week of running from meeting to meeting -- sometimes in different time zones -- you may eye Saturday and Sunday and fantasize about doing... nothing.

But is that really how you want to spend your weekend?

The truth is, you can't do nothing. Time will be filled with something. Eventually you will be on the other side of the weekend, setting your alarm clock for Monday morning. Aiming to do "nothing" increases the chances that those somethings that fill the 60 hours between your 6 p.m. Friday beer and 6 a.m. Monday wake-up will be meaningless somethings: TV you didn't intend to watch; chores you didn't really need to do; inefficient errands; random email checking instead of deeper thinking about your career, and so forth.

So the better bet is to plan something. You don't have to structure weekends like your workdays, with life planned in 15-minute increments. But how about planning a few anchor events to give you something to look forward to? Try making a list of things that sound fun centered two hours or less from your house, augmented by your usual sources of enjoyment, like exercise, or getting together with friends and family.

Think about how you might stick three or so anchors into your weekend plan. Work through the logistics, then get ready to really enjoy yourself. Three things averaging three hours apiece adds up to only nine hours of your weekend. There's plenty of time to loaf about in between.

And the upside? While you'll still get to loaf, you won't have the nagging sense on Sunday night that life is passing you by. There are probably lots of things you want to do in life, and they can't all wait for vacations. So why would you want to do nothing? A good weekend leaves you rejuvenated, not exhausted or -- as happens when you try to do nothing -- disappointed.

What will you be doing this weekend?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Moyan_Brenn
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