Here we are, Mama! In the third week of May; summer is in full view. How is that even possible?
For many of us, this month marks the end of whatever routine we’ve come to know and enjoy during the school year. At least for me, I know the loss of routine equals the loss of productivity, as I find it immensely difficult to get things done if there’s no rhythm to my days.
If you’ve experienced this too, you may be greeting summer with a mix of emotions. Of course, we’re excited to have fun with our kiddos, and who isn’t thrilled to be done with school work for a while? But it’s also daunting to think through how to fit work into your summer of family fun.
If that’s you, take heart! We can have a meaningful, fun, and relaxing summer with our families without losing momentum in our work. Impossible, you say? Nah! In fact, I’ve got four quick steps to making that dream a reality:
1. Set 1 or 2 Goals for the Summer
What do you want to accomplish this summer? Is there a product you want to flesh out? Some research you want to dive into? Do you want to grow your client base or write a blog post every week? Whatever it is, I encourage you to pick one, maybe two, goals to focus on this summer and let the rest take a backseat. The goal of this summer is to maintain your momentum while being fully present for your family. This means we’re going to have to identify what’s most important and pick the rest up this Fall.
2. Determined How Much Time You Need
Once you have your goals set, think about how much time you’ll need to get those things done. Will you need a few hours every day? A block of time once a week? I’d encourage you to be very honest with yourself here and don’t sell yourself short. Not giving yourself enough time to do your work will only frustrate you (and ultimately your family).
3. Decide When You’re Most Productive
Once you know how much time you’ll need, it’s time to get that work block listed on the calendar. Two questions that may be helpful to consider are: When does my family need me the least? And, when am I most productive?
Personally, I am at my creative best early in the morning (we’re talking 6 am-9 am). Happily, mornings tend to be a “low need” time for my kids as we usually enjoy very slow mornings in the summer. This became the easiest time for me to have someone else (my husband, in this case) watch the kids while I got some work done. The bonus of working in the morning was once the work was done, I could be 100% present for the rest of the day. It was a win-win-win.
4. Talk. To. Your. People!
For years I struggled to ask my husband for time to work during the summer. I think, deep down, I felt taking time for writing was selfish. But once I finally summoned the courage to speak to the man I loved, I quickly learned that because he loved me too, and he was *more* than happy to give me the time I needed (go figure!). Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to ask for time! While my husband is a teacher and home for the summer, you may need to arrange for someone to hang out with the kids during your work time. Don’t be afraid to make those arrangements! Remember YOUR WORK MATTERS. And, because it matters, it’s worthy of the time and money you invest in it.
My Best Advice for the Summer:
Now that you’re ready to work, I’m ready to give you my best advice for the summer: Take small steps every single day. Take your 1-2 goals for the summer and break them down into bite-sized pieces. I’m talking one action step a day. Then, every day, do that one thing. It may not feel like a lot, but those small steps of faithfulness will add up quickly and before the summer is done, you’ll discover your goals have been met (and you still had time for memory making!)
You know me and my love for handy resources, I just had to create a four-page Summer Planning Guide to help you map out your summer. This guide helps you identify your two top goals for the summer and provides you with all the space you need to map out your action steps for every day of each month. I pray this guide will help you take one step forward each day, so you can accomplish all your goals this summer- without sacrificing any time with your family.
Cheering you on!
Fill out the form below to snag your Summer Planning Guide!
Looking for more tips on staying productive this summer? Check out the next post in this series: When Productivity Doesn’t Look like Progress.