Do you think it is better to make plans in detail for activities in your leisure time, or leave free time unplanned?

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Do you think it is better to make plans in detail for activities in your leisure time, or leave free time unplanned? Compare these two views. Use specific examples and reasons to explain your answer.

Some people prefer to plan activities beforehand for their leisure time. They make appointments to play tennis, go hiking, or perform some other activity. There is nothing wrong with setting aside time for leisure activities. There is a certain danger, however, in carrying such planning too far. When one’s leisure time becomes as regimented and regularized as time on the job, leisure can become indistinguishable from work and thus cease to be leisure at all.

Imagine someone who schedules an hour every day for handball. He leaves the office precisely at 1 p.m., arrives at the court at 1:10, plays for exactly 40 minutes, showers and changes clothes, and is back at the office at 2 p.m. – not a minute before, nor later. This kind of order and punctuality makes good use of time. It probably contributes to good health as well. The question is, can time really be called leisure when one marches through it on a rigid. predetermined schedule?

Almost by definition, leisure activity is unplanned activity. Holding oneself to a strict schedule during leisure defeats the purpose of leisure time. Moreover, highly structured leisure is not much fun. To be truly enjoyable, leisure must be unstructured. It should be unpredictable, unplanned, and flexible. When one imposes too much order on leisure, what should be fun, becomes just a different kind of work instead.

This is why free time ought to be truly free. To experience genuine leisure, avoid planning. Instead, allow for the unplanned. Visit an unfamiliar part of town and see what is there. Try doing something you have never done before. You may not make optimum use of every single second; but such freedom is what leisure is about.

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