A Typical Summer:
Time to relax.
Time to do nothing.
Time for endless sleep!
3 months later
” Where did my summer go? I got literally nothing accomplished.”
Summer is the easiest time of year to become complacent with your life goals and to attempt accept a truly uneventful lifestyle. But summer is also an excellent opportunity to pursue personal interests and develop yourself as an individual.
Well, it turns out you can still live a lazy lifestyle in the summer months, but also accomplish a lot by establishing an idea capture system, finding a productive work time, and taking up a light/moderate commitment.
This is where most students find themselves stuck over breaks…there’s nothing to do. An idea capture system prevents you from ever reaching this state and allows you to be more mentally free to accomplish meaningful work. Essentially an idea capture system is writing or recording any sort of thoughts or ideas you have about projects or interests, so you get them out of your head first off. To keep these tasks I would suggest keeping a list with tasks you have to get done (eg. shopping and laundry) and then another list of possible projects/things you want to accomplish. If you keep a list handy with you at all times of all tasks you have to do and possible projects you want to pursue, you’ll always able to capture a new idea when one comes to mind. Then when you get bored just review the list you’re written.
The next token to having a more productive college summer is determining the time of day for which you can work most productively. If you’re a morning person, block off a few hours in the morning to get work done. If you’re more of a night owl, protect some time in the evening for which you can work. Some of you may be unsure on what time of day you function best. If you’d like a more in-depth analysis of when your prime times are to do certain activities, I would check out The Power of When by Michael Breus (http://thepowerofwhen.com/).
Once you’re figured out the best time for you to work, save a couple of hours at another time in the day to have some sheer fun! If you’re a type A personality, it may be even beneficial to schedule time for fun (just so it doesn’t get filled with work). So, for example: if you’re a morning person, schedule time in the evening for some festivities.
My final recommendation is to take up a light to moderate time commitment. This can be a part-time job, a sports league, or classes for a hobby you have. Having scheduled events in your calendar will already warrant you some sort of structure with your time. With a small time commitment, you become far less complacent and use your time more wisely since there is a light sense of urgency with your schedule.
Having an idea capture system, finding a productive time to work, and taking up a light/moderate commitment will all enable you to have an enjoyable/relaxing summer where you actually can get things accomplished (with less stress)!