LIFE | 6 Tips to Have a Productive Summer

As summer is barreling towards university and college students at an alarming pace, a productive summer is something everyone is talking about. This summer is going to be the best summer yet. I’m going to work out more, eat healthy, and spend lots of time with my friends. You’ve probably heard these things before, and you’ve probably been the one to say them. At the end of each year, it’s like a New Year that rolls around and we dedicate the next four months to being the best possible us we can be. Resolutions to work out, eat healthier, do fun things with friends, and get through all those tasks on our never ending to-do list. I’m pretty sure I’ve been telling myself for the past four summers that I would work out, but here we are and I haven’t run a single day since. However, this year will actually be different from the rest. I’ve found a couple of ways to ensure that my days will be as productive as possible and I thought I’d share them with you. Granted these might not work for everyone, as we all have different ideas of a productive summer, but here they are anyway. Whatever your idea of productive is, hopefully these tips will help you achieve whatever goal you may have in mind.

1. Set an alarm for 8 a.m everyday. I know for a fact this doesn’t work for a lot of people. Summer is their chance to sleep in till noon, get their beauty rest, and stay up as late as possible. I just find when I sleep the day away, I feel sluggish and unmotivated. If 8 is a little unreasonable for you, maybe set one for 9. Getting up at the same time everyday instills routine and it feels like you actually have a day, instead of that window of late afternoon to evening and then nighttime. 

2. This might sound simple or a little obvious to some, but make your bed when you get up! I’ll be the first to admit that my bed rarely gets made during the school year. Leaving my bed at 6 am every day is hard enough, making it look pretty and inviting is the last thing I want to do when I’m trying to leave it. When you make your bed, not only does your brain tell your body that you’re done with sleep for the day, but it also makes your room look more clean and put together. It’s a well known fact that having a clean environment makes for a more productive day. Even if you don’t plan on spending time in your room, or if you plan on napping later, making your bed is just a significant way to tell yourself to get on with the day. 

3. Another real obvious one, but it had escaped me year after year. Get dressed everyday. Staying in your pajamas all day is one way to ensure that nothing productive will happen. Put on pants, put on a bra, maybe even put makeup on. I find that if I’m in my pajamas all day, which happens way too frequently, I feel mopey, sluggish, and unwilling to do anything physical. This way, I’ll actually get to wear that summer wardrobe I dream all winter about, and I feel more put together during the day.

4. Exercise most days, because daily seems to be pushing it. 3-4 times a week should do the trick, or anytime you’re feeling stuck in a rut, sluggish, or restless. Exercising sends all those good hormones to our brain, gives us energy and motivation throughout the day and is just generally good for our health. Now finding the motivation to actually exercise is a different story, but there are many ways you can exercise without feeling like you have to work out. Exercising could be anything from taking your pet out for a walk, playing an interactive video game, or things like yoga. Typically exercising requires us to get out of our pajamas, so doing this hits two points at once. 

5. Make a realistic daily to-do list or plan. Maybe you’re one of those people like me who needs to have a plan or a goal for the day in order for it to be productive. If you have a white/cork/chalk board, or even a notepad handy, make a daily list of things you want to accomplish during the day rather the night before or when you wake up. Having a plan and something to reference always makes me feel like my day has structure. I have a master to-do list for the entire summer and then daily ones. It’s important to not over reach for the daily goals or else you’ll feel even more unmotivated to do it again the next day. Start with small, simple things if to-do lists aren’t your thing. 

6. This one might not be as fun as the others, but cleaning often makes me feel productive. Cleaning out bedroom draws, desk drawers, my closet, sorting through old books, papers, makeup, and clothes. You’ll feel better once you finish, your space might look a little better, and you’ll feel like you’ve actually done something with your day. Blast your favorite music, and just start sorting and cleaning. It can surprisingly take hours to do which fills a chunk of your time if you didn’t have anything big planned for the day.

I hope these tips help some of you. While they are pretty basic, I think it’s important to start small before making drastic changes. During the long summer break I often feel agitated and restless after not having routine in my life, so doing something daily and giving purpose to my days often makes it feel like a summer well spent instead of a wasted one.

Do you do anything different to make sure your summer is productive? Or do you ever feel bored or restless during your summer breaks? If you do, what are some things that you do to try and break out of that rut? I always love hearing what other people do and I find it’s a more common problem than some may think. I’d love to hear what you do and if you do any of the things that I do.

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