Summertime for most people is all about relaxing. This is great except I feel lazier in the summer. For most of us, school isn’t in session so there’s often no need for alarms and strict routines. That’s fun, but I found that it leads to more unproductivity and utter waste of precious time. When school resumes, we often scramble to get back on a routine after going off track for so long. This summer though, on a quest for self-development, I want to do things differently; I want to remain productive. It makes no sense for me to waste two and a half months of holidays doing nothing all in the name of summer break. Time is precious, once it’s gone we’d never get it back. So I thought I’d share some tips on how to stay productive this summer.
Let me throw out a disclaimer here: I am not a productivity junkie. I’m barely learning to get my own ways together and actually be using my time wisely. However, I have been reading and watching anything on productivity and self-improvement. I have also had to go to the drawing board and figure out what works for me and what hasn’t. So in this post, I’ll share 15 things I’ve learned and will incorporate to create a productive summer experience.
1. Set Goals & Have a plan
Setting goals will allow you to have a clear focus, free of distractions. It can also help you prioritize as well. With setting goals, it’s important to write them down and go through them regularly to keep them fresh in your memory. I recommend finding time every day to read through set goals. More tips on how to slay your goals this year in this post.
2. Make Your Goals SMART
I recently learned this from mindtools and it has changed how I set goals. One of the main reasons why we fail to accomplish goals is because our goals aren’t “smart” proof. Essentially, when setting goals, make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
3. Do it All With Intention
Why do you want to be productive this summer? What do you hope to achieve by the end of the summer? How will this sustained productivity positively affect other areas of your life? It is important to ask your self some important question and find your WHY. The power of your WHY will perhaps be your strongest driving force.
This is the time to actually read. My goal is to read 3 books per month that a total of 6-8 books by the end of the summer semester. So join me. Curate your summer reading list and let’s help each other read more! Reading is an awesome way to garner knowledge but also relax your mind. What better way to spend your time?
5. Stay on your schedule
If you already have a schedule that works for you, do not throw it out; you don’t need to abandon waking up at 6 am because it’s summertime. If you must adjust your time to get more sleep or to sleep in, try not to stagger the time too far off. Waking up at 9am/10am because it’s summertime can throw you completely off by the time summer is over and you have to retrain yourself to go back to rising early. So keep your schedule as close to normal as possible.
6. Watch That To-do List
Yes, we need a to-do list but we don’t need to overdo it! Simplify and make your to-do list as realistic as possible. I tend to do better when there are not a 1000 things on my list. So each day, I set simple straightforward goals. Think SMART above.
7. Stay Organized
You cannot be optimally productive if you’re all over the places. It’s important that you’re organized with your plans, tasks, and daily life. So have a to-do list and adopt a system that works for you. Planners are great: You can use a digital planner on your phone or have a paper journal. Check out my must have planners and journals for 2018.
8. Practice self-care
It’s not rocket science to know that you can’t have a productive summer if you don’t take care of yourself. This summer, give yourself permission to rest, relax and travel. Whatever it is you enjoy that makes you feel cared for and rested, do it!
9. Have a Morning Routine
I am a firm believer that the first 30 minutes- an hour of your day can shape the rest of your day. While I don’t currently have a set morning routine, I am doing everything possible to create a morning routine that works for me and my schedule. So having a morning routine where I can take care of my mind, my self and intentionally set the day right is crucial to keeping me grounded and productive this summer and beyond.
10. Nourish Well
Give your body and brain the nutrients and minerals it needs to thrive. Eat well and live well. Incorporate more plants into your diet and allow your body to naturally heal and replenish itself. A plant-based diet is one sure way to boost energy and nourish the body. I have been eating a plant-based diet for 11 months now and it has completely changed me. I would highly recommend it. So eat well, drink lots of water. It’s great for your skin too. Win-win.
11. Say No To multitasking
Somehow, I subscribed to the idea that women are good at multitasking. While this may be true that we are better than man when it comes to doing more than one thing at a time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are optimally efficient at doing multiple tasks. One thing I have learned is that if I want to do something well and once, I have to set time aside and focus on that one thing. This makes so much more sense and saves me time in the long run. Do your best to set and complete one task at a time. I love this post on Single-tasking by Viktoria.
12. Have an accountability partner
If you’re someone who easily falls off the wagon and easily distracted, an accountability partner will come in handy. Find someone who has similar goals and desire for productivity and hold each other accountable. You both can even set similar measurable goals and encourage each other to win. I recently formed this partnership with Cassie Daves whose blog I absolutely love and who has become one of my fave blogger babes. We both realized we were struggling with the same things so we set goals and are holding each other accountable for those changes.
13. Manage and use social media wisely
These days, with all the new features rolling out on all major social media platforms, it’s so so easy to get carried away. We are spending more and more time on social media doing practically nothing. Challenge yourself to use social media for good. I used to be one of those who clicked on a video simply because my favorite vlogger posted. Not anymore! Make it a point this summer to only watch and spend time reading things that add value to your life. Most importantly, find balance with your social media usage. It’s cool to use it just for fun, but watch for the addiction and the tendency to abandon tasks just to spend hours lurking ending up discontent by overconsumption. Remember, “what you consume will soon consume your thoughts.”
[bctt tweet=””what you consume will soon consume your thoughts.”” username=”asaakemi”]
14. Use a timer if you must
Using a timer has become one of my tools for increased productivity. Timers allow me to set my mind on one particular task thereby eliminating distraction. One thing that I also love about using a timer is that it builds discipline because you are challenging yourself to stay on one task for a specified period of time. So you’re increasing productivity and also boosting self-disciple.
15. Reward yourself
One thing that works for me is rewarding myself whether it be 5 minutes on youtube after an hour devoted to solving a problem or just a long stretch around the house after 15 minutes of active problem-solving. Find what you enjoy and reward yourself when you hit accomplish a set goal. It’s usually a good incentive to aim higher and do more.
Thats about it! If you have other tips that might come in handy, be sure to share it in the comment! Do have a fun and productive summer!