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Why you should tackle your to-do list on Saturday instead of Sunday

to do list
Photo: Pexels/kaboompics

The Sunday blues are definitely a thing. Chances are, even though you have a million things you need to do to get your life in order before the work week starts, all you want to do is stay in bed and watch Netflix. Maybe you’ll make some sweet potato toast and then venture out to yoga later, but getting a head start on that work project you’ve been putting off? Or cleaning the bathroom? It sounds torturous.

If all those chores are still looming over you come Monday morning, rest assured that there’s a scientific reason for you not tackling them during your I-don’t-want-to-but-should mood. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people were more likely to do the stuff they didn’t want to do when they were good mood.

Researchers looked at data from roughly 28,000 participants, noting their activities and emotions over the span of a week. Obviously you sometimes have to do stuff you don’t want to do because you, well, have to—like go to work. But for the majority of the optional things, they found that people were more likely to get down to business when their mood was downright chipper.

It worked the other way, too: People tended to text friends to do something fun or plan a shopping trip when they were feeling a little glass-half-empty about things.

The takeaway here? When planning out your weekend, saving your to-do list for Sunday may sound like a good idea in theory, but you’re better off crossing a few items right away, when you have that just-slept-in glow. Then you’re free to opt for something fun to do at the precise time when you need it the most.

Really feeling down in the dumps? Here’s how to plan a whole day of happiness for yourself. Or, try this simple little hack.