by Stephen Mattson,
For both students and teachers, summer vacations are a time to relax and forget about school and work. Many take the opportunity to travel and recover from a long year filled with assignments, exams, classes and all-nighters. Although it’s tempting to rest and unwind with family and friends, by following a few simple guidelines summer can be an opportunity to be productive.
1. Plan ahead
Summer is often the busiest and most hectic time of year, and without a proper plan, individuals can waste time, get distracted and become lazy. One of most vital (and overlooked) requirements of having an industrious summer occurs months beforehand when the organization happens.
Many wait until the last moment when preparing for their summer vacation. When it arrives they feel overwhelmed and ill-prepared, participating in meaningless and time-consuming activities. To avoid such pitfalls, create a list to determine what you want to achieve during the vacation. Practical things like attending summer classes and taking accreditation tests require enrollment months in advance. By preparing beforehand, life will be less stressful and more focused.
2. Avoid bad habits
The breaking of normal routines causes people to fall into behaviors that are self-destructive and idle. This frequently happens during summer vacations because the institutional and authoritative motivations of school have been removed. Suddenly, there are no penalties for sleeping in, no admonishments for partying and no deadlines for assignments.
This new- found freedom requires much self-control and discipline. Surround yourself in an environment that promotes productivity and communicate goals with others to increase your level of accountability.
3. Produce income and avoid debt
Summer has more time for shopping, eating, hanging out with friends and enjoying life. Unfortunately, these activities demand large amounts of money, and many people quickly fall into debt due to unemployment and increased spending habits. Having a short-term seasonal job creates a valuable source of income that can be used to supplement these costs.
In order to obtain summer jobs, students and teachers must start searching months in advance. Every year, the employment market gets flooded by students returning from school, causing many to suffer through the summer unemployed. The best place to find seasonal jobs is online. Use “Craigslist.com” and other websites to help aid your search. Be patient and persistent, and remember that these jobs will sustain your summer expenses.
4. Start working on your future goals
Summers provide people a chance to prepare for the fall and their long-term futures. Teachers can prepare lesson-plans, assignments and syllabi. Students can graduate faster and save thousands of dollars by completing summer classes. Doing internships or volunteering also looks good to graduate schools and corporations that review how applicants spent their vacation, and involving yourself in something worthwhile also strengthens your resume.
5. Learn something new
Join a book club, play on a sports team, travel, take a cooking class and learn a new language. Having extra recreational time means that you have the opportunity to learn many new things. Start a new hobby or invest in one that you already enjoy. The options are infinite, so find something that you take pleasure in.
6. Have fun
Being productive doesn’t mean that the vacation needs to be turned into a rigorous routine of work and planning. Treat yourself by relaxing and taking time off. By having a good time you avoid burnout, and the quality and quantity of your work will also improve.
No matter what you do, just remember that summer vacations make up nearly a quarter of the entire year, so spend the time wisely.