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Structure to your day, not good for work/life balance?

 I know it's only Monday, but here's another reason you should look forward to the weekend -- it's when people are the happiest, according to the latest work/life balance research. That may seem obvious but new research published in the January issue of Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology reveals some interesting observations.

It turns out I was wrong about everything I ever thought was great about having structure in my day. Personally, structure makes me feel productive. But the study, blogged about in the Los Angeles Times, says even those of us who love our jobs feel happier on the weekends because it's when we have the least amount of structure in our day.

Even more, no matter what type of profession one is in or how much one is paid, everyone is happier on weekends. People love the freedom associated with weekends and even feel better physically.

Taking it a step further, people even said they feel more competent during the weekends than they do while at their day-to-day jobs. Researchers said the study reinforces how important leisure time is to well being. Think about that next time you want to cram all kinds of activities into your weekend.

"The relatively unfettered time on weekends provides critical opportunities for bonding with others, exploring interests and relaxing -- basic psychological needs that people should be careful not to crowd out with overwork," the lead author of the study, Richard Ryan, from the University of Rochester, said in a news release. The study was based on responses from 74 volunteers age 18 to 62.

What would you have said if you were polled? Are you happier when there's less structure and more freedom in your day? Do the findings inspire you to set more time aside for leisure?Smiling people