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Boost your happiness: how to make every day feel like a Saturday

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With the potential for a long lie in, plenty of food and maybe even a party to attend in the evening, Saturdays can often feel like the reward for making it through a gruelling week of work.

And science agrees, with the results of a survey on happiness pinpointing the precise time of 7.26 pm on a Saturday as the happiest time of the week for us Brits. By this point, the survey found, the majority of us have managed to unwind and leave the stresses of the previous week behind, paving the way for a period of precious relaxation before the Sunday blues sink in the following day.

But is there a way to bottle this effect and make every day feel like a Saturday?

saturday

Mikael Cho, co-founder of creative marketplace Crew, devised an intriguing "Happiness Experiment" to figure out why he was happier at the weekends and how he could spread this joy across the rest of the working week.

Over the course of 10 days Cho tracked his own happiness, rating each day on a scale of 1-10 and recording how he felt at the end of it. From these 10 days he compiled a list of tips to make each day feel like a Saturday and, two years after adopting the tips himself, has found a vast improvement in his happiness levels throughout the week.

Give the tips a try - you might be surprised at the results.


Five tips to make every day feel like a Saturday

Change your to do list

To Do List

The experiment found the amount of work we have to do is not the culprit for feeling stressed - rather, a lack of organisation is to blame for feeling overwhelmed by the tasks we need to complete.

Remedy: Overhaul those lengthy, muddled to do lists and replace them with short, flexible and concise lists. This will not only help you achieve your goals in a more organised manner but also encourage you to feel more positive, which can also boost the quality of your work.


Be more social

social

We've all been there, cancelling plans with our friends at the last minute so we can stay in the office and finish off a crucial piece of work. Unsurprisingly, the study found this was damaging to daily levels of happiness.

Remedy: Make time to see someone who makes you genuinely happy at least once a day. A study into weekend versus work week happiness found the ability to spend time with friends and family was one of the biggest factors in contributing to weekend enjoyment, so be sure to add this to your working week, too.


Ignore your own deadlines

deadlines

People have a propensity to set themselves demanding or unachievable deadlines at work. The study found the inevitable failure to then meet these unrealistic deadlines was a huge contributor of stress, which had a negative impact on the quality of work eventually produced.

Remedy: Pay attention to your own productivity. Do as much as you can in a day, but stop for breaks if your attention fades.


Don't try to force sleep

sleep

We all know how important it is to get enough sleep, but sometimes it can be impossible to switch off and snooze. The study found lying awake and trying to force sleep, particularly with the added pressure of having to get up and go to work the next morning, is a sure-fire way to decrease happiness.

Remedy: If you find yourself unable to sleep, get up and spend half an hour soothing whatever thoughts are keeping you awake. Work out a problem on pen and paper, make a list or simply doodle. The study found this is to be more productive and effective for helping you sleep, and therefore boosting your happiness, than lying in turmoil.


Make time to move

move exercise

The study found exercise to be a key contributor to Saturday happiness, particularly in comparison to sedentary weekdays spent sitting at a desk. 

Remedy: You don't need to do a vigorous amount of exercise every day to be happy. Rather, just make sure you regularly move around - make a coffee, stretch your legs or simply stand up. The increase to your blood flow will make you feel good and boost your happiness.

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