8 Tips for being productive during summer vacation.

It's really easy to be lazy. At least, it is for me: sleep in, ignore the husband's work alarm, barely kiss him when he walks out the door, climb out of bed an hour later only to plant yourself on the couch for remainder of the morning day watching TV. It could happen to anyone. For most people, when their vacation is only a week or two weeks, that's exactly what they want to do + should do. But what happens if you have off the whole summer? Is it okay to do that for 11 weeks? While I'd love to say "yes!" I feel like the answer is "no..." it's not okay to be lazy for an extended amount of time. Mostly because it makes it really hard to get back to reality come September but also because I'm not sure that's too healthy. You may get couch sores or start talking like a Kardashian.

Anyway, here's what I've been doing to feel productive as well as to guarantee some conversation starters with my husband at the end of the day:

1. Get out of bed. There's really no way to be productive if you don't get out of bed. I try to get up before Sean, and if I don't I try to get up when he gets up. Because if not -- I could stay in bed all day and I don't even have a TV in my bedroom.

2. Exercise. I'm not one for the gym. I strongly dislike it, so I try to get out of bed each morning by 7 to go for a walk. I know that seems sort of crazy to wake up so early on vacation, but here's the thing: it's still 2 hours later than the time I wake up during the school year, it's still cool outside because the sun isn't blaring, and if I'm lucky it's early enough that Sean can join me before he goes to work. It's a win-win-win.

3. Eat. I don't mean eat all day. But I do mean, eat. There's nothing worse than realizing you haven't eaten all day because at that point all you want to do is eat whatever is there (like the entire bag of Doritos) or you just want to take a nap because you realize you're exhausted from not eating. So plan your meals just like you would if you were going to work.

4. Make your bed. #3 brings me to #4. If you're exhausted -- you're going to want to nap. But there's really no reason for you to be exhausted while on vacation... at your house. You make your sleep patterns and assuming you're taking care of yourself you shouldn't need to sleep the day away. So here's what I do -- make the bed. Like really make the bed, don't just throw the covers up quickly. Once the bed is made, I'm less likely to crawl back into it when I'm feeling tired.

5. Get dressed. I don't know about you, but I'm much more productive when I'm not in sweatpants. When I'm in sweats... it's easy to sit on the couch all day. In a dress or jeans -- it's less comfortable to lounge on the couch. It also helps if you put on shoes. Oh, and it's preferable that you shower before you get dressed. You're on vacation, you're not sick.

6. Go outside midday. I can't tell you the number of days I've spent during summer vacation not doing anything. I'm not opposed to this but it always causes a bit of an awkward conversation at dinner that night. I'll ask "how was your day", Sean will tell me how busy he was or how hot it was outside and I'll say something like "hmm, I didn't know it was hot because I watched Criminal Minds for 6 hours and never left the AC". There's nothing less productive than that. So, get the mail, take out the trash, clean your car -- do something so that if the conversation of the midday weather comes up you can contribute on how hot or windy or humid or whatever it actually was.

7. Set goals. I've set goals for myself: blog, read, exercise, drink water, etc. I've publicly announced them on the blog to be held a little more accountable for them. But I have other goals, too. They're less attractive and a bit mundane like roll my coins, clean out the junk drawer, call the dentist, clean the litter box daily. You get the picture. They don't have to be huge things... and you don't have to think of them as ways to keep busy. Anything you do, that is something that you've been meaning to do... is helpful in some way.

8. Make plans. This one is hard. Unless you surround yourself with a bunch of teachers or other people in professions who have summers off -- it's really hard to make plans with anyone because everyone you know is working. But when an opportunity comes up -- take it. There's nothing more productive than going out and having human interaction for a couple of hours. You can roll your coins tomorrow.

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