How to Stay Productive – Summer Holiday Edition

We all know the feeling. You walk out of the school building, throwing your papers in the air, singing What time’s it?! from High School Musical 2 and dreaming of all the amazing things you’re going to do this summer. However, the truth is that you most likely have some things you should do this summer that aren’t all fun. This often leads to the realisation that school is suddenly only a week away and you’ve gotten none of them done.

So how do you prevent that? How can you make sure that you keep just a little bit of your productivity through summer break?

Use a planner

This is the basis for all the following tips. For them to work, you need somewhere tangible to write down your plans. Any type of planner or calendar will do, no matter if you’re doing it in a notebook turned bullet journal, a weekly planner, a monthly planner, your mobile/computer calendar etc. This allows your to visualise your plans and keep them in mind, remembering when you’d planned to complete each task.

Write down what you need to do

I often start out with just making a list and in the initial stages I just put everything on it. This year it looks a little something like this (but with more housework *sigh*):

  • Scrub kitchen floor
  • Write blog post (each Saturday + Sunday)
  • Pack for holiday
  • Find dress for wedding
  • Throw out IB papers
  • Finish online course

When you write everything down, it’s easier to get a complete picture of how much you have to do. You can also expand each point to accurately reflect how much work goes into it, so for example I could write out each blog post that I’m planning on doing this summer.

Block of when you are travelling / have things planned

You don’t want to give yourself tonnes of work in a week where you’re only home for a day between two trips. Therefore, figure out when you’ll be out of town or busy and make sure you give yourself a proper holidays during these periods.

Organise when you need to do it

When doing this, there are two main things you should pay attention to: 1) Do I have tasks that need to be completed before a certain date? and 2) When will I have more / less time to get things done?

For 1) I need to pay attention to the fact that I need to pack for my holiday before I leave on it, and I also need to find a dress before I’m going to the wedding. For 2) the main thing I’ve done  is that I haven’t given myself housework the weeks where I’m just partially home, and I’ve made sure I’ve scheduled non-fuss blog posts for the weeks where I’m short on time.

It’s all very basic, but it will help you set up a ‘schedule’ that you can live with.

Study / do whatever you need to do, when you’re free

Because it’s the holidays, things tend to suddenly pop up out of the blue. Today, for example, I’d planned to shower and have a lazy morning while writing this blog post, but late last night my best friend proposed we go to the mall at 11:30 am. Change of plans.

To ensure that changes like these don’t mess too badly with your schedule, I’d recommend making it a loose one. Give yourself a few days of leeway.

This year I’ve scheduled my cleaning by weeks and decided that I’m going to do it on Tuesdays. However, if’ve made a mental note of the fact that if Tuesdays doesn’t work out, I’ll do it on Thursdays. I think this is a good way to do it, because you still schedule, but not so that you’ll have to miss the fun little things that tend to happen in the summer.

Give yourself time to relax

This is one of the most important things, I think. The summer holiday is supposed to be your time to recharge and relax. Event hough you might have stuff to get done, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy yourself, the nice weather and your time off.

At the maximum, I tend to give myself one ‘chore’ to complete every day, so that I have the rest of the day to relax. This also means that you’ll feel a little productive each day, which is a good feeling.


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