As the semester draws to a close, I’ve been working on my summer plan. I’ve always planned my summer just like any other academic semester–while the schedule, rhythm, and type of work I’m doing may be very different, in some ways I find this makes it even more important to plan. Otherwise, the promise of a wide open schedule will be filled with more things than could ever fit in it, leaving me to wonder where the summer went!
Block off events
I start off by printing monthly calendars* for May-August, as these are my summer months. Then I block off any travel and events I’ve got planned, such as dance trips, family visits, or birthday parties.
Block off reset weeks
At the beginning and end of each semester, I like to block off a “reset” week, where I just focus on resetting everything that’s gotten a little chaotic during the semester, ranging from my desktops (physical and virtual) to files (paper and digital), to small tasks I’ve put off, to cluttered areas of my house, and so on.
Ideal day and week
Next, I think about what I’d like my ideal day and week to look like. My aspiration is for them to have a more relaxed pace than the academic year, although between having summer babies, being pre tenure and focused on research, running intensive summer programs, and experiencing a pandemic (not all at once!) I’m not sure this has happened in the last decade. I do have high hopes for this summer though, since I am not having a baby or running a summer program, the pandemic is waning, and being post tenure I feel I can work on research at a more reasonable pace! This summer, I’m hoping to work on research in the mornings, home or personal projects in the afternoons, and teach dance in the evenings.
Finally, I look at the major projects in each area of my life, and figure out which weeks of the summer I can dedicate to them. This is usually when the summer starts looking a lot shorter than in my imagination! However, this also helps me make more realistic plans. This summer, I have work on two major research projects planned (one in May-June and one in July-August), a bunch of minor home projects, and several fun dance events as well as a studio move.
So, that’s how I’m planning this summer! Do you plan your summers? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!