Create Routines for Your Summer that Actually Work
While I love that summer break brings more time for relaxation, flexibility for sleeping in, and less strict bedtimes, if you’re not careful it’s all too easy for the weeks to get away from you.
Without the structure of the school year, you can fall into a rut where you don’t have any routines for your days or make any progress on the things you want to do.
Then, before you know it, you're desperately ready for summer to end and the school year to return along with your ability to create routines.
That’s why I am sharing the 5 time management tips I leverage every summer to help me not only enjoy the break and the flexibility it brings, but also make progress on my goals, dreams, and projects.
Side Note: These time management tips are NOT for when my family and I are in true “vacation mode”, but rather for all of those other summer weeks when we still need to get things done and have some semblance of normalcy to our days.
Tip #1: Establish A Days and B Days
My daughter loves when we do pool days over the summer break, but because we never know exactly what the weather will bring on any given day, it can be a challenge to add pool days or other outdoor summer fun into my weekly planning each Sunday.
This is where A Days and B Days come in!
A Days are when we're going to be out and about (usually outside) doing summer activities such as going to the pool. Alternatively, B Days are when we’re at home with more structure.
By creating two types of days, we have the flexibility to wait and assess the weather and then know if we’re leaning into an A Day routine or a B Day routine.
Tip #2: Create Routines for the Morning, Afternoon, and Evening
Creating routines is one of the nine components inside my TOP Framework, and it’s truly one of the hidden gems to help you maximize efficiencies and productivity.
The key to creating routines for you or your family is simply to group together a series of tasks that you want to accomplish but to give yourself the flexibility for when you execute that routine.
For example, a morning routine for your family may include breakfast, cleaning up the kitchen, getting ready for the day, and whatever your morning chores are. These are tasks you can bundle or group together every day, but they don’t have to be done at the same time each morning.
This gives you the flexibility to allow your kids to sleep in! Because it doesn’t matter if their morning routine begins at 7:30 or 8:30.
The key is that whenever that morning starts, you have those routines to lean on and they create a sense of structure that works really well.
Tip #3: Don’t Abandon Your Weekly Planning
Regardless of what your work life looks like, weekly planning will absolutely bring you sanity during those long summer breaks.
You still want to lean into the core components of weekly planning such as:
- Understanding your commitments
- Knowing when are you unavailable to work on things
- Creating a weekly checklist
- Establishing your have-tos for the week
- PLUS, identifying when you will tentatively get those have-tos done
It's so easy when the summertime hits to throw all of that aside, but by doing that, you will miss so many amazing opportunities!
Will your plans look different? Absolutely. Your weeks may look less routine and certain, but by all means, continue with your weekly planning.
Tip #4: Establish New Skills or Habits
Summer can be a great opportunity for you to work on new skills, habits, or routines that you really want to create and instill with your children.
Particularly when my daughter was younger, I wanted to find opportunities to give her more chores or teach her more ways to care for herself, our pets, the house, etc. But during the hustle and bustle of the school year, it was always so easy for me to just do it myself. I never felt like there was time to teach her how to do it.
But, during the summer breaks, we could slow down, and she could learn a new skill, habit, or routine without the pressure of getting it done fast so we could get out the door for school.
Summer is the perfect time to transition into new expectations and set roles and responsibilities prior to the new school year.
Tip #5: Keep Your Weekdays and Your Weekends Separate
This was something I also talked about early in the pandemic because when you’re home all of the time it’s really easy to allow all of your days to meld together.
Eventually, you reach a point where you don’t know if it’s Tuesday or Saturday, and suddenly it’s 3 pm and you’re still in your pajamas.
Now, going back to my original side note, if you are in vacation mode or actually on a vacation, this is completely fine! Those are the weeks when all rules go out the window. But you can’t operate in vacation mode all summer long! This is particularly important if you work from home or are building a business.
Treat your Monday through Fridays very differently than Saturdays and Sundays, just like you do during the school year.
This is one of the key things that has really helped me make progress on goals, keep my business up and running, and have some tremendous growth over the last few years! Because I don't fully check out during the summer months, I get to keep structure to my weekdays, and then I treat my weekends as a weekend.
For even more tips on all things priorities, time management, organization, and productivity, check out more blogs or podcast episodes.