Summer can be crazy! The children are at home. The days are long. And there is always plenty to do.
It’s easy for stress to sneak up on you. And no one wants to spend the summer stressed.
The good news? With a little planning and a commitment to this ONE thing, you can have a happier summer.
Are you ready to boost your summer smiles? This is what you should do.
Deliberately take time to have fun.
You see, summer is the perfect time of year to play and enjoy life. So read on to learn how to make fun a regular part of your summer.
How to make time for fun this summer
Although the days are longer in the summer, you only have 24 hours each day. Fun times aren’t going to magically happen.
You have to make fun a key part of your summer days.
But, you still have things you need to do. Therefore, you cannot leave all caution to the wind and just completely abandon all structure in your days.
If you’re hoping to boost your summer smiles without letting chaos break out in your house, here are seven different strategies you can use.
1. Nail down your daily essentials
When you have a better idea of what you need to do each day, it’s easier to schedule some fun.
Write down everything you need to do on a typical day. This could include:
- To make meals
- Job tasks (marketing, client work, hours at your job, etc.)
- Animal care tasks.
- Any summer engagement (swim lessons, summer school, etc.)
This list is not for the things you want to do. It’s for the things you have to do daily (or on a regular basis) if you want to keep your sanity.
Review your list carefully. ask yourself:
- Can I delegate this?
- Can I teach one of the kids (or a spouse or roommate) how to do it?
- What happens if I don’t do this?
Now check your list again. Circle the ones that YOU have to do each day. These are your daily essentials for summer.
They are a kind of minimal to-do list. On a day when these essentials are the only things going on, you’re still in good shape.
2. Streamline your tasks
What can you do to free up time and mental concentration this summer? Take the time to optimize.
It’s the perfect time of year for:
- Make a meal plan.
- Teach children new tasks.
- Try automating or outsourcing parts of your business.
- Create templates or systems to help you get your work done faster.
You may need to try a little harder at first. You will need to spend time creating these processes.
But, once established, they will save you an enormous amount of time in the long run. Who knows, you may even keep wearing them once September rolls around!
Summer is the time to simplify. Eat simple foods. Let the kids (and yourself!) have some quiet fun with friends.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money or time on things to have fun.
Here’s an example to help you think about this. Which of the following are you most likely to do multiple times this summer?
- Plan and host a great summer fun party complete with Pinterest-inspired food, games, and decor.
- Got a group of friends over for a sausage roast and corn hole?
Most people will undoubtedly choose option B. Having friends over for a simple meal and cheap fun is much more doable than spending hours planning, preparing and executing a huge event.
So kick back, relax and just enjoy some low stress time with friends and family.
4. Make your mornings count
The mornings really set the tone for the entire day, and that’s the case all year long. The good news? You don’t have to wake up at dawn to make your mornings count.
Take your time and sleep in if that’s something you want and can do.
But, even if it’s a slow day, get up with determination (whenever that happens). Don’t rest for a couple of hours and then try to convince your lazy mind that it’s time to get to work. That requires a lot more energy! Your brain is in vacation mode at this point and will fight when you ask it to get moving.
Instead, do some of your essential daily activities shortly after waking up. So even if you take a break and rest for a while, you will help make your brain more productive all day.
5. End your days with purpose
Take a couple of minutes before bed each night to prepare for the day ahead. That way, you can more easily achieve those productive mornings.
At night, here are some ways to help make the next morning go smoother:
- Review your meal plan for the next day and see if you need to defrost meat or soak beans or something.
- Check your calendar: are there any appointments? Do you have extra work you need to do? Do you need to take something to your errands or be somewhere at a certain time? By checking just before you go to bed, you can ensure you set your alarm for the correct time and avoid “bad surprises” in the morning.
- Make sure the dishwasher has run.
- Prepare clothes if you have to get up and go. Remember socks and shoes if necessary!
It doesn’t take long to get off to a good start for tomorrow the night before. And before you know it, this will be a habit that will help you be more productive all year long.
6. Put fun on the calendar
If you’re having trouble stopping work for fun, make sure you schedule something. Mark it on your calendar… and then keep the appointment.
It can be a daily game time where you select from your favorite card games, board games or video games.
Or schedule some longer events on a weekly basis, like going to the park or the lake.
Think of some recurring things you can do and put them on the calendar along with any special vacations or big summer plans. Anticipating the fun to come is as pleasurable as the fun itself.
Then, when the time (or day) comes, stop working. Put your phone up. It’s not fair to try to have fun while glued to your smartphone…
Build memories and have fun. Then you can get back to your daily routine… until the next time you have fun planned.
7. Own your schedule
There is no “correct” way to handle your daylight saving time. What works for one home might be terrible for yours.
So pay attention to your routines and strengths when planning your summer days. Plan your work times around when you are most productive. Don’t try to force yourself to stay up late for work if you just want to sleep in when the sun finally goes down.
Benefits of making time for fun
Although it may seem counterproductive, taking the time to play has many benefits. When you stop and have fun, you are:
- clearing your head
- building memories
- Recharging your creativity
- Allowing your brain to slow down from “overproductive” mode
- Giving you space between the issues you’re dealing with. You might even find that they’re not that important when you go back to check them out!
take time to have fun
This season take time to have fun. It’s key to a happier summer and can do wonders for your productivity.
And don’t worry, you can absolutely make memories while still doing the essentials.