I’m a pretty firm believer in the “summertime mentality.”
Whether or not you have kiddos of your own, we were all kids at one point, and we ALL looked forward to the glorious summer vacation that greeted us after a long year of sitting in classrooms and sledging through homework. (Of course, it’s always ironic to me how the years seem to get shorter as we get older…)
But one thing is for certain: the summertime mentality hits pretty much all of us come May.
Around mid-late May, life gets thrown off its usual routine. If you do have kids at home, suddenly, they have a brand new schedule of events, camps, slumber parties, you name it! And even if you’re not a mom? It’s not hard to see how the summertime mentality sets in across most of the community; store and business hours shift ever so slightly, and family vacations, weddings, and graduations are suddenly the center of your universe.
With this shift in our schedules and priorities this time of year, finding a balance can feel more challenging than ever; but with three basic rules, we can conquer the crazy summer months by finding a new normal without skipping a beat.
01: Set your new morning routine.
Routines are what help us manage the chaos thrown our way throughout the day, and I like to think of your morning routine as the foundation that sets up your entire day for success. However, we need to recognize that summer months may require a shift in our morning routine; what you’ve been doing all year up until now might need to be reevaluated for the next few months — or even month to month.
Start by taking a look at some of the daily tasks, events, and priorities that will be a part of your life this summer; will the kids be attending a new camp or do you have a major client that shifted their own hours for the summer? Reset your morning routine by accommodating these changes in the early hours of your day. Maybe your “sit down with coffee and get ready to conquer the world” time starts at 9am instead of 8am. Or perhaps you wake up 30 minutes earlier (hooray for longer days of sunlight!) to get a jumpstart on daily tasks so you don’t find yourself drowning by lunchtime.
Determine where the changes are happening in your daily schedule and shift your morning routine to accommodate these changes so you remain in control of your morning and your day.
02: Block in some breathing room.
One of the easiest ways to feel overwhelmed in the summertime is to fill up your calendar with endless to do’s, projects, events, errands, etc. Throughout the rest of the year, this may be a great way to stay on track and productive throughout the week; but summer months tend to fill up much more quickly, causing overwhelm to happen in an instant.
This summer, try this strategy instead: purposefully block out periods of time throughout your week where you’re not allowed to schedule or plan anything during that time block. Maybe this is after a certain time in the day or just Tuesday and Thursday afternoons; when you come to this time block on your calendar that day, use this time to either catch up on something that’s been getting shoved to the side that week, or seriously, just treat yourself to a mental break for a couple hours.
Intentionally setting aside time to catch up and breathe will help keep your sanity throughout the week and ensure you’re actually able to enjoy the gorgeous weather and sunshiney days with your friends and family.
03: Plan your projects early.
If there’s one thing summertime is notorious for, it’s this: ALL THE PROJECTS. Around the house, at work, in the yard, on your car — whatever the project is, the nice weather and summertime mentality draws out the DIY side in all of us. Even if you’re not doing it yourself, the planning and coordination of making any project happen is enough to drive us batty…unless we’re prepared early for it.
Before your summer schedule really sets in, take some time to determine what major projects or trips are on the horizon for June, July, and August. Take a look at your calendar, and be realistic about when this project will fit into the summer craziness. Account for plenty of planning time for big projects and trips so you don’t find yourself rushing to throw it all together in the early weeks of August.
Treat those big projects like any other event on the calendar, and work them into your summer plans early so they don’t take over your life and become a major headache late in the game.
Summertime is fast approaching, but with a few basic guidelines, you can plan early to make this a productive, enjoyable summer for you and everyone in your family. Happy summer planning, friends!