How To Find The Balance Between Summer Relaxation and Productivity

by Sarah Victoria Heath

Summer brings many changes: breaks from school, sundresses galore, piña coladas and, of course, that glorious sunshine streaming through your window.  

More hours of sunlight give you precious time to enjoy the great outdoors instead of burrowing back inside your home with cozy blankets. But this lovely time of year is truly a double-edged sword. Despite the inviting temperatures and perfect beach days, you still have work to do (how rude!). Responsibilities and work- or school-related obligations do not cease the moment that summer sun graces us in June, and you’re likely to suffer from some major (excuse the 2014 lingo) FOMO as a result.

But fear not: we’ve compiled three simple, yet extraordinarily helpful mantras that will help you find that perfect balance to enjoy the summer months in a restful and constructive way. 

Consider the Weather. Always. 

Whether you’re working full-time, taking classes or relishing some much-needed R&R this summer, every available opportunity to enjoy beautiful weather should be savored. Remember: the Weather App is your best friend. At the start of every week, take a look at the predicted temperatures; plan to take advantage of those stormy or excessively humid days to really grind. Do those chores you’ve been putting off and make head-way on your to-do list. 

Hopefully, by working ahead on those less-enchanting summer days, you’ll have eased up your workload for nicer days (genius!). Strategically maximize your time outdoors when the heat lets up: take a longer lunch and try to do work outside. If you have to meet with people, try to arrange for an outside meeting on the patio. Outside of work, take every opportunity to revel in the summer air. Eat dinner outside, go for a run or a swim, read a book in the park. Even 20 minutes spent outside can rejuvenate you.

When You’re Offline, Be Offline 

I know, I know: easier said than done. Putting the phone away could even be impossible if you’re in a position that requires being on call. But whenever possible, make a conscious effort to disconnect. Leave your phone in your beach bag when you’re taking a dip. All year round, separating work or school life from personal life can make both more manageable and help to keep you more at ease. 

If you’ve been saving up vacation days, now’s the time to use them. As long as you remember that they’re just that: vacation days. Appreciate summer Fridays if you have them and any random days off that give you time to breathe and relax. 

Stay Productive in a Non-Work Way 

So far, we’ve discussed ways to get more relaxed, but that doesn’t mean you should just lay out all day on the beach like a lifeless log (also, you’d probably burn to a crisp. Not a look.). If you’re itching to be productive, there are other forms of productivity than the standard 9-to-5 gig. 

Students in particular can use the summer to accomplish those miscellaneous tasks you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to. Did your workout regimen slip in the winter months? Now’s the time to get yourself in shape. You may have projects or goals that have lived in the back of your brain from the beginning of the year. What better time than now to put them into action? Pick up a new skill or dust off an old one. This kind of work can be just as rewarding and, in the spirit of summer, fun as well!

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