Time Management Tips for Summer

I don’t know about you, but once the days got longer and the sun started shining, my body and mind automatically switched into vacation mode. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. This year has been especially taxing and it’s time to think about what that means for our post-pandemic future (check out this awesome post by my friend Sonya)!

I’m going to revisit one of my first blog posts a few months ago about time management, which actually has the most likes out of all my posts thus far, and assess how that fits into my summer plans.

Here are the tips I gave:

  1. Single task
  2. Use a modified Pomodoro
  3. Prioritize
  4. Improve technology skills
  5. Calendar

Now, I still stand by these tips as actionable ways to manage your time in an efficient and productive manner. However, although mentioned in the initial post, I did not explicitly state self-care as a time management tip. I want to emphasize now the hugely important role that self-care plays in time management. I say this as a person who recently went on a trip and ended up working half the time and not getting to truly detach and enjoy the full experience.

Summer is a time that should be full of adventure and excitement and wonder. I know I always looked forward to summer as a kid because my parents planned activities for us to do at the house or hikes in waterfalls with picnics and I got to eat my favorite Teddy Grahams. As an adult, I’m now the one in charge of picking my adventures and choosing how I plan to get things done.

My schedule is sort of strange right now and I’m trying to figure out the right balance between work and play. As a recent doctoral graduate, I want to create a lot of downtime for myself because I’ve basically spent more than half of my life in school. However, this is also a perfect opportunity to build up my blog and YouTube as well as network to become an academic coach or editor.

So while I will still subscribe to the tips mentioned above, I have a few things to add to my personal time management tip list for summer.

  1. Prioritize mental and physical health. It is extremely hard to complete tasks to the best of your ability if you are exhausted or drained. I need to get back in the zone where I’m taking care of myself so that I can do the best for the people I love. I know myself well enough to know the best time for me to exercise is in the morning so I’m trying to get up and make sure I at least walk every day.
  2. Schedule unscheduled time. Now, this tip might sound strange, but if you’re a planner like me, then you know what I mean. Don’t feel like you need to fill your calendar to the brim with activities and work and vacation. Allow your calendar to have more breathing room than you would throughout the rest of the year. Give yourself permission to take a day trip on a whim or build a pillow fort in the house with your kids.
  3. Be forgiving with yourself and others. I’m writing this in Summer 2021, which means this statement is (hopefully) completely obvious. But, this tip holds true for any time in the future as well. For many individuals and families, summer is a time to relax a bit more, get out and enjoy the sunshine, and just generally slow down. We emphasize this work, work, work culture in the U.S., but what about life, life, life. As a reforming workaholic, I am trying desperately to recognize how my overwork tendencies have created times in my life where I got burnt out too quickly. Try to recognize those signs in yourself and in others and be an encouragement to those who need a break.

For context, my interesting sense of time and ever-evolving perspective stems from a mother who is extremely early to everything and a father who shows up habitually late. I like to think of myself somewhere in the middle, but open to learning and accepting new ways of managing time based on personality, goals, and mutual understanding. Check out another amazing post from Sonya here!

Anyway, the moral of this story today is to enjoy your life and make the most of the time you have!

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