Today marks the first day of summer vacation for me as a teacher… yippee!! But let’s be honest, summer vacation for teachers was romanticized during our student years, thus creating a lifelong battle as adults. The phrase “summer vacation” connotes thoughts of sleeping in, lounging around in pajamas until noon when you slip into your bathing suit to then lounge around outside and bask in the sun. Dreams of summer vacation don’t naturally equate to times of high productivity, but that’s exactly what summer vacation means to me. This is the time of year when I get to get my life back in order and dream big for this little business of ours. Last summer I came up with some tips to help stay on track for a productive summer. I hope they help you to maximize play time and get stuff done 🙂 Here it goes:
The single most important aspect of cultivating a productive summer break is creating habit. Success in any number of arenas can be traced back to habit. One of my favorite quotes from Jim Ryun states, “motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” For me, the first day of summer vacation sets the tone for the next six weeks.
Get up! Day 1 – get up and get moving first thing in the morning. I have to tell my brain that I am still expected to show up each day and can’t simply crawl into my cave to hide from the world. It is essential that I maintain a habit of getting out of bed and moving in the morning; don’t get me wrong I at least sleep in until seven 😉 there has to be some reward!
Write it down – My planner helps me to stay organized during the school year, but it’s so much more important for me during the summer. My school days are regimented and laid out for me. I have no choice but to work on Etsy when I get home each day, but during the summer there are no bells that signal the end of class or the school day and the start of the next task. It’s up to me to stay on task and on target. Before each day, I plan out in my planner exactly what I want to accomplish each day and when. This forces me to be realistic about the time it takes to do something and to build in natural breaks to enjoy myself.
Make Big Summer Goals and Write Them Down – Much like the teacher brain inside of me, I can’t decide what my focus should be every day until I know where I’m headed. At the start of summer break take a step back and look at the big picture. What are your dreams and goals for you, for your business, for your house, for school next year? Make a list of all of them. Dream big! Then pair it down. Be realistic. What are the must dos, the priorities and the nice to dos. Once you’ve decided exactly what you’d like to accomplish plan it out. Stencil these tasks and projects in to your calendar so that you can plan when they’ll be accomplished. Without planning for it ahead of time, the time will pass and the list will remain just that, a list.
So go out today and dream big. Jot down a list of all the things you want to accomplish this summer and pencil some of them in… and don’t forget to get up and get moving tomorrow! ☺
P.S. I absolutely LOVE my planner from Plum Paper Designs! It’s my second planner from them and it is the bees knees 🙂 They’re totally customizable allowing me to insert special categories for myself, like blogging, so that I can really keep all of my written thoughts in one place. And bonus!… they’re beautiful 🙂 Check them out if you’re in the market for something new.