Summer schedule changes can wreak havoc, unless you organize time differently. Before the summer started, we had a regular flow to our workdays, a regular time we got involved with children or grandchildren, some sort of regular patterns to our days. It was almost calming or at least a nice ritual to stick to!
As summer approached, we planned graduation parties, vacations, camping, or activities. Parents, small business owners, grandparents, corporate employees: Whatever your role is, we all feel the energy difference and we are dealing with some chaos in our with different schedules. Balancing work and life once again.
Acknowledge the Difference
The problem is that we often don’t plan for it, and then try to squeeze in time for vacations, breaks … Our time is splintered; there are too many pieces to our pie chart of a day’s schedule.
Not to mention the summer spirit. When you walk out of your home office, onto your deck, and it is oh, so difficult to get your seat back into that office chair!
3 Ways to Organize and Plan Your Time – Differently
Summer schedule: Use your calendar – even though it’s summer
- Many people drop calendar use in the summer, because the work schedule(s) of parents change based on the children’s or grandchildren’s activities. Bring it back into play. You don’t need to use your calendar as strictly as the rest of the year, but some structure will help manage the chaos. Bonus: Transitioning to the Fall schedule will be easier, too (less contrast between the two schedules).
- Add “reset” or “settling in” time to your vacations: Add a day off or even a half day to focus your prep time to go away. Add a day at home before you get back to work for an easier re-entry.
- Summer schedule: Be realistic in how much work time you have to have and you want to have. Reset your expectations about what you can handle, if you have more family at home or visiting. Work only mornings; work certain full days; trade child duties; work somewhere else for the summer (coffee house, library). There are all kinds of ways to get in work time. Set your expectations as well as your family’s.
Summer creativity and summer systems
- If your business slows down a bit, think about the possibilities. What planning, reflecting, brainstorming or creating can you do during this time? If you plan to launch a program in the Fall or in January, programs take planning time; why not get some of the work done over the summer, or at least the creative thinking.
- What’s frustrating? Adapt or create your system: I say “adapt” because I find it’s often about the habits, the distractions, or that the system is not intuitive to you. Systems are very personal, because they’re based on your mind works, not someone else’s. That’s why they don’t work often times.
Restore. It’s good for our brains!
- What makes you feel good? Block time for yourself, even if you think you can afford only 15 or 30 minutes a day to start. A bike ride, time at the gym, reading a book on your own, taking a walk, kayaking. What is rejuvenating? What does wellness or self-care mean to you?
- Trying to start a new exercise/movement habit (walking, yoga, rowing)? Summer is a good time to start something new while you have a little more breathing time. Get the habit going and come Fall, it will be easier to figure out how to incorporate it into your changing schedule.
- Take white space in your work calendar and get outside for a few short breaks during the day. Helps with creativity and wakes up a tired mind. Take advantage of the weather.
You can do this. Think creatively, ask for ideas, use some assistance. Mainly, it’s about shifting your perspective and reorganizing your schedule.
You’ll create a summer you’ll never forget. Summertime, and the living really IS easy !
P.S. If you need a little bit more than reading an article, please call for a no charge, consultation by phone to see how we might collaborate on organizing your life, work and home. Are you spending time on what’s most important to you?
603.765 9267 text/cell
For next year, a tip:
If you didn’t do it this year, mark this on next year’s reminders: Don’t wait to know everything: Block out what you DO know about your children’s schedules (camp, school, activities) or your grand-children’s babysitting schedules or your other job you take during the summer. See what you have and then figure out if you have gaps for kid coverage or too much already and no need to add more. Start earlier than you think; make a calendar reminder in Springtime to start!