When summer rolls around I always feel overwhelmed with thoughts of how quickly I know it’ll pass. I’m anxious to squeeze every drop of goodness from these long, sunshiny days. Just as my excitement for some R & R rises, the events and activities of others begin to swarm all over my calendar. You too huh? That means it’s time to break out my go-to anxiety eliminator: a good old-fashioned plan.
It sounds simple enough to be a no-brainer, but not many people plan their summer aside from their actual vacation away from home. With a little planning time, we can make the most of this short season. I’m not suggesting non-stop activity. For you, making the most of it may mean lots of rest poolside with a good book or maybe it means starting a new business venture you’ve dreamed of. However you define it, planning is the best way to make it a reality.
Take this as seriously as if you were planning an event for someone else, because your time, people and life are just as important.
Here is what you’ll need:
- a quiet afternoon with no interruptions
- your calendar
- a print-out of this list: Summer Must Do _ Want To
- a pencil and eraser or pen and whiteout (because
this isn’t pretty all over your calendar)
OK, let’s make a plan…
1. Fill out the print-out as a brain-dump of all your must-dos and want-tos for this summer. (Of course, you’ll want to get input from your spouse and/or children.)
2. Schedule the must-dos on your calendar. (For us, the must-dos are our jobs, mowing the grass, garden chores, church activities and events, date night 2x a month, a couple of small-ish home maintenance projects that need to get done over summer break and REST.)
3. Take a look at the time you have left and insert your want-tos. (For us that’s fishing, camping, swimming, biking, kayaking and making)
4. Decide that what you’ve scheduled is enough and politely decline any additional commitments.
There ya go. Simple, but significant. You’re not likely to nail every last detail that you’ve carefully planned, but I guarantee that you’ll be closer to any hopes you have by taking the time to schedule for yourself and your family.
Now, I know that planners like me often get a bad rap. I tend to think it’s the die-hard spontaneous-types that think we’re all control freaks — who recoil at our scheduling. But think builders, florists, chefs, teachers, athletes… these things are impossible to do well without plans and arranging. The thing is, our plans may get trashed and we have to accept it and move on to plan B, C or D. Seriously, I need spontaneous people in my life. I thank God for the way they balance me out, but I’m convinced that planners get things done — even REST. In a nutshell, this is me~ I schedule the days that I’ll fly by the seat of my pants. Ha-Ha- how’s that? =D Yay for balance!
One more thing…
I’ve planned a summer making series to share with you. I had lots of simple projects rolling around in my head that I’ve wanted to try with Sonny & Samuel, so I listed them and scheduled them over the next several weeks with hopes that they’ll move from “want-to” to “done”. Our first project (in progress) is stepping stones (or garden art). Stay tuned if you’re into making new things!
That’s it for now… if you’re already in the habit of planning your summer, you’ve got some tips of your own to share, so please leave us a comment.
Happy summer! Your friend in life, faith & art ~ Jamie = )
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