Are you a super laid back human who’s great at relaxing? Are your evenings and weekends filled with picnics and movies and friends and reading in a hammock?
If that’s you, stop reading this blog post. It will do you no good. Instead, read this post about how to travel for a month with only a carry-on.
But are you one of those Type A humans who runs themselves ragged? Who struggles to uncouple their productivity from their self-worth? Who fill their days (and evenings and weekends) with one million tiny tasks?
If you are this person, I’d like to introduce you to one solution to your Type A problems: the To Do For Fun list.
Quite simply, a To Do For Fun list is a list of fun things you’d like to do with your evening, your weekend, or any free time that falls into your calendar.
I realize this might sound completely counter-intuitive, but sometimes if I don’t plan to have fun … I don’t. My lazy, unstructured weekend becomes an opportunity to organize paperwork, clean the fridge, and detail the car. And then once I‘ve worn myself down, I’ll fall into a Netflix coma.
Instead, what if I made a To Do For Fun list that looked like this?
Weekend To Do For Fun list
- Sleep in
- Go to the beach + get nachos at Sandcastle
- Give myself a manicure
- Make sweet corn ice cream
Even if I don’t do any of those things (which is fine, since it’s a To Do For Fun list!), I’ve taken five minutes to remind myself that this time is set aside for fun and relaxation. This time is not for never-ending chores, meeting other people’s deadlines, or putting everyone else’s needs before my own.
Related: If you’re not sure what makes you happy or what’s ‘fun’, this will help.
Here’s why you might need a To Do For Fun list, too
Writing things down makes them a jillion times more likely to happen
It’s happened to all of us. We have plans for a really lovely evening: dinner on the grill, a walk around the lake, watching one episode of that awesome show we’re trying to ration.
But somehow things devolve into eating leftovers out of tupperware in front of the fridge, cleaning up cat puke, and then “just checking email really quick” for two hours.
Making a To Do For Fun list won’t protect us from leftovers or cat puke, but it will make our fun exponentially more likely to happen. Just thinking about how we want our free time to look and putting pen to paper makes us 47% more likely to do the fun things we know we want to do!
You’re less likely to inadvertently spend all your free time doing un-fun things
If you’re a people-pleaser or a Type A human, you’ve probably ended many a weekend with the realization that you spent the last two days helping other people, running errands, or doing chores.
Helping others and being productive is great and all, but you need to fill your cup before you can pour from it, my dude.
So before you spend next weekend landscaping the yard and helping your co-worker move, literally schedule (like in Google calendar!) blocks of time devoted to totally unproductive fun.
Type in ‘Saturday 10 am – noon: poke around thrift store. Sunday 9 am – 10 am: read on deck, 7 pm – 10 pm: drink wine and attempt to cook that Ina Garten recipe.’
You’re less likely to engage in self-sabotage-masquerading-as-self-care
If you looked at my To Do For Fun list, you wouldn’t see ‘watch eight episodes of Dynasty,’ or ‘mindlessly scroll through Instagram for 45 minutes.’
And yet! If I’m not careful and intentional, that’s how I’ll spend my evenings and weekends. Gross!
When I take the time to think about how I want my free time to look and feel, I’m less likely to fall into a “self-care” habit that doesn’t actually replenish me.
You’ll notice what’s NOT on your To Do For Fun list
You might find that you never, ever list “clothes shopping” or “trying new breweries” on your To Do For Fun list. And yet those activities regularly end up on your social calendar because someone invited you to do them.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you turn down every invite that doesn’t 110% align with your interests. But if you regularly do things you don’t enjoy perhaps it’s time to, ya know, think about that.
I want to hear from you! Does your free time get eaten up with chores and errands? Do you ever find yourself falling down a Netflix hole even when it’s not actually that fun?
P.S. Want to break your bad Netflix or Instagram habits? This will help – and it’s free!