While being the brightest and longest, the summer months are usually uneventful for me. I am usually taking a break from school or working, but not both. It would be my luck that as I leap into the final stretch of my masters program, I am taking 3 courses, an internship (possibly two) and I need to find a job in the next few weeks. I have a lot on my plate!

In the past, summer was a time for relaxation. Sleeping in and Netflix were my only criteria. But this summer, I’ll have to maximize my time by avoiding procrastination. The 3 ways I do that are to 1) write everything down, 2) eliminate social media, and 3) turn off the TV.

Write Everything Down

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My goals for the summer are very focused. I have academic and financial goals that I must accomplish before the Fall semester begins. The best way for me to remember what I am working so hard for is to write it down. Not only do I record my goals, but I also record my schedule, assignments and appointments. As the summer progresses, I am able to keep track of ideas and thoughts I may not be able to work on right away. I am also able to keep track of appointments, assignments and deadlines, which helps me remain professional. Seeing all of my goals and important dates encourages me to use large chunks of time to do as much work as I can and to be productive in my down time.

Eliminate Social Media

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Removing social media apps from my phone is one of the best ways I stop avoiding my responsibilities. When life is moving full speed ahead, it is easy for me to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that will be necessary. Now I am faced with a full load of graduate courses in a condensed semester while working the equivalent of 2-3 part time jobs. I have no time to indulge in the lives of others. I can’t risk losing precious  time getting lost in whats trending. For me this simply means removing the apps from my phone. For you this could mean turning your phone off or on airplane mode, or hiding your phone while you work. Do what’s best for you to stay focused.

Turn off the TV

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Netflix and Hulu are my go to platforms for summer entertainment. I am usually so busy during the Fall and Spring that I have no desire to start new or finish old series. But during the summer, I normally have enough down time to discover some new shows and movies. With so much to do this summer, I just don’t have enough time to enjoy my favorite summer routines. I have to turn the TV off to avoid those juicy premieres that I’m sure will surface and demand my attention this summer. With the TV off, I am able to put my full attention to the tasks at hand. Only when my work for the week is finished, will I binge on my favorite shows and movies.

Although I am slightly overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to do in such little time, I am optimistic. I know that I have the tools I need to be successful. by removing social media and turning off the tv, I am able to carve more time out of my schedule. And by writing everything (goals, schedule, assignments, deadlines, appointments, lists, ideas) down, I am able to best determine how to use this time.

How do you stay productive when you least want to? Share your tips or stories with me by leaving a comment or emailing me at chelsexceptional@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!