The best way to plan your summer is to do so in a way that suits your natural way of occupying time. This will make everything flow and give you more energy and enjoyment.
What's your style?
If you feel tired a lot or find you are constantly unproductive you are probably not working in your natural preference most of the time. Get back in touch with your natural time sort and plan activities around them.
Do you prefer big or small?
People either think of time in big chunks. This could be months or even years, or alternatively, small chunks of time, usually in hours or even smaller.
Do you like to think in themes or sequences?
If you are an 'in the moment' person, and prefer to get immersed in things then you think in 'theme's. If you think of time as a 'sequence', you may even see a diary planner in your mind and will like things to be planned out.
5 ways to plan your summer
Once you've identified your style, you can work out the best way to effectively plan your time:
Big chunk themer
You like to get immersed in things and do so for long periods of time. So plan to accommodate that if you can. You might work for three weeks and find clubs or activities for the children, and then take two or three weeks for family time. Going away for work or the children going away to visit grandparents could work well for you. Avoid too much dipping in and out of things as this will drain you and be realistic about what you will achieve work wise.
Small chunk themer
You like to get immersed in things but prefer doing it in small bits. You also have more capacity for interruptions and spontaneous changes to plans, so embrace these if they happen. Avoid working from home with the kids around if possible. You are more likely to get drawn into things or frustrated with it which will mean you lose focus and be less productive.
Big chunk sequencer
You are be best making a plan for the summer before it starts, which helps you to know everything is covered. Get a calendar on the wall and put everything on it. Take long periods off work rather than the odd day here and then. This will help you to focus; you will lose momentum if you flit around too much.
Small chunk sequencer
Make a detailed plan. You can plan around changes in activities so can easily accommodate a week where you spend a few days working and a few days at home. You may find organising bits of childcare like short trips out, gives you all you need to keep on top of work. Avoid cramming your diary though, this will only make you feel overwhelmed. Plan in time each day or week for the unknown to allow for any emergencies and some down time.
You may not have the ability to completely control your time, as there are other peoples’ priorities and constraints to consider. If you can plan with your preference in mind as much as possible, you will have a calmer, more productive and enjoyable summer.
By Karen Meager and John McLachlan
Karen Meager and John McLachlan are the co-founders of Monkey Puzzle Training and co-authors of Time Mastery: Banish Time Management Forever.