Despite what the calendar says, most seasons don’t feel like they have a clear beginning date. It starts to really feel like fall somewhere in mid-September. Spring begins when the flowers and plants start to bloom. But most of us would probably say that summer has a clear starting point: Memorial Day weekend.  

It’s really useful to have that dividing line between spring and summer, at least from a time management and productivity standpoint. Summer tends to be a season where people’s schedules, priorities and goals shift a lot. Things get much busier in some people’s lives in summer; for others, work really slows down and summer is a time for a lot of recharging. Your own summer might alternate between chaotic and relaxed.  

Being able to recognize, “okay, summertime begins now” allows you to start thinking about what you want your summer to look like, and actively making the time management plans that are going to support that kind of summer. Having plenty of time to make those plans allows you to transition smoothly into summer instead of scrambling to adjust around the Fourth of July. You can minimize chaos while getting the important things done, and actually enjoy the whole season as much as possible. You’re able to take control of your time instead of letting time control you.   

So—now that we’re on the summer side of Memorial Day, it’s time to get clear about how you want to use your time between now and Labor Day. Do you know what your most important goals are for summer, both in work and in your personal life? 

3 Questions to Help You Clarify Your Summer Goals 

  • Do you remember what your annual goals are? Even though we’re not technically halfway through the year yet, the start of summer is a good moment to assess your progress toward your yearly goals. If you can’t even remember the goals you set, or you’ve fallen out of relationship with those goals, now’s the time to decide whether you want to recommit to them. Or maybe your priorities have changed in a way that means you want to adjust your existing goals. Make those adjustments now so you’re clear about what you’re working toward this summer. 
  • What opportunities do you see coming up for the summer? Think about both personal and work opportunities here. Are there any experiences you’ve been craving that you could enjoy this summer, either alone or with loved ones? New places you could travel? Maybe summer’s a good time in your life to pursue continuing education—what kinds of new skills or qualifications could you acquire in the next few months?  
  • Do you remember any regrets or lessons from last summer? It might be useful to reflect on how you felt at the end of last summer. Did you feel like you had gotten the balance right between work and personal time? What kinds of time management and productivity challenges came up? Were you energized and recharged, or exhausted from being over-scheduled? If it’s the latter, maybe this summer you’ll decide to say no to more things and make rest a higher priority.  

Once you’re clear about what you want to spend your time doing this summer, you can start making the daily, weekly and monthly plans that help you stay on track with those goals—no matter what unexpected curveballs come your way this summer.   

3 Action Tips for Creating Plans That Support Your Summer Goals 

#1 – Put the “big rocks” in place first.

Start your summer plans by putting things like weddings, travel, family events, appointments, recurring meetings and hard work deadlines into your calendar. Once all of those pre-planned, high-priority pieces are on your schedule, you can get a sense of the overall picture for summer. Where are the busiest periods going to be where you might need some extra flexibility? Where are the quieter places going to be where you might be able to fit in things like continuing education or a midweek mini-vacation?  

#2 – Think about goal markers on a month-by-month basis.

As you work on scheduling time this summer to work toward your goals, focus on just one month at a time. At the end of each month, identify goal markers that you want to reach by the end of the next month. Then you can break down the weekly and daily actions that’ll get you to those markers by the end of the month, and build those actions into your plans. Working one month at a time minimizes overwhelm and makes it easier to adjust as the summer goes on.   

#3 – Strategically manage your time before and after vacations or time off for maximum productivity and seamless transitions.

I want you to have plenty of time away to unplug and recharge this summer, without being completely overwhelmed by all the things that are waiting for you back at work. As you create weekly plans that include time off, be mindful of extra tasks that you’ll need to take on to set yourself up for a restful break. Let’s say you’re taking a long weekend away. You might need time in your schedule on Thursday to get yourself set up to be away from work and home, as well as extra time on Monday to get yourself caught up. Building that time into your plans lets you disconnect from work with minimal stress. And once your first summer break goes well, you’ll feel confident taking more time away from work as the summer goes on.  

Need More Support with Time Management?  

You can make great plans, but unaddressed time management and productivity challenges can still derail your summer. If you need help breaking the habits that aren’t working for you and building new routines that support your productivity, I’m here to help.

Join me for Time Matters Boot Camp 90-Day Virtual Program to get the structure, support and tools to create lasting change. We start June 5th!

Click here for information and registration. 

Also, be sure to check out my recent appearance on The Positive Polarity Podcast, a business podcast that talks about the intersection of business growth and personal growth. My episode is called “Making Time for More: Ending Procrastination in Your Life” and you can tune in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Youtube!

Happy summer planning! 


Sarah Reiff-Hekking