Summer Productivity and Relaxation: We Really Can Have It All

Posted on May 25, 2016 by

While thinking about how the month of May has zoomed by and engaging in a quasi-productive procrastination on the Daily Nous website, I conveniently stumbled upon a post concerning how to actually work during the summer. Here are some highlights from this hilarious, but scarily accurate article that truly resonated with my ‘summer self.’

  • Going to a meeting and answering some emails might feel like work.  But it isn’t really work.
  • “Summer is actually one long break from the non-writing parts of your job.  Summer, in other words, is the jobiest part of your job.”
  • “Time is unstructured….It’s easy to forget that you’re employed in a job-type thing, with expectations and paychecks and stuff”
  • The time management aspect is at times a cycle between solid double shift work days and “panicked, avoidy vegging.”
  • There is a list of common psychological pitfalls: “Approach avoidance when the pile gets too high. Imposter Syndrome that makes you delete everything you just wrote.  The Spotlight Effect that makes you panic about being evaluated even when no one is actually thinking about you…”
  • It’s better to spread out the leisure and writing rather than to start with a never-ending two week vacation followed by a panicked filled final four to six weeks.  Leisure and writing are NOT like oil and water.  They can mix.
  • Three to four hours of writing from Monday to Friday will still give you a total of a month and a half off while tripling your writing output.  (What? Seriously!?)
  • Even though you may not stick to the schedule, the point is to dig yourself out of the rut sooner rather than later.  Tackle that pesky approach avoidance head-on by setting small goals.

Although humorous, these points are all too real.  Luckily, a professor in our department here at UCalgary, Marc Ereshefsky, is speaking at a Congress session about time management this Monday, May 30th.  Planning ahead is key and just simply getting started puts you on the road to writing ease. “Time is an asset that you are always spending, and it can never be replenished or replaced” (Feamster 2013).

With my to-do list of summer goals in hand, I will bravely face that first of June that looms just around the corner.  Here’s to a productive AND relaxing summer!  Who’s with me?