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It’s hard to believe that it’s already August, a month where family vacations and laying in the sun are priorities while work and school are looming in the distance. It’s a hectic time of year, especially when you’ve had so much leeway to take weekend breaks, plus only a month ago, summer felt like it would last forever. Unfortunately, now it’s getting down to the wire and maybe you haven’t finished exactly what you hoped to accomplish. Maybe you have some books you wanted to read, but they’ve been put aside in favor of family activities. Perhaps the rooms of your house have become progressively more cluttered now that you’ve been traveling to the beach during every free moment. What can you do to improve your levels of productivity before the summer’s over and you’re back to the daily grind?

1. Make a list of what you hope to accomplish by summer’s end. Is there a book you’ve been meaning to finish for ages, but you haven’t gotten around to the rest of the year? The summer’s the perfect time to accomplish that fun task, especially when work’s dying down and you have the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy the warm weather. Perhaps your house needs cleaning or there are some other important tasks that need to be done. Just put them all on one list to complete, or make two lists: one for “required tasks” and one for “tasks that I’d love to accomplish.” If you differentiate what type of work needs to be done and spread out the “required tasks” among the ones that you actually want do, you’ll have a much more enjoyable, balanced rest of the summer.

2. Set aside some time every day to check off what you’ve accomplished. Make yourself feel good for doing a month’s worth of laundry or completing that 5o0 page novel that’s been on your nightstand forever! Check off what you’ve done and survey the importance of the upcoming tasks. Make sure you’re not just getting through the list without really thinking if these accomplishments were worth the effort. Prioritize well and don’t make the list set in stone. In the end, you should be able to congratulate yourself for a job well done and feel good about your work!

3. Try to kill two birds with one stone – multi-task (but not too much!) It might be tempting to read two books at once while cleaning the house and doing laundry, but isn’t that going a little overboard? While a little multi-tasking can be good and make perfect sense sometimes (ie. doing laundry while watching a movie you’ve been wanting to see), once you’re spreading your cognition too thin, something’s going to get done wrong and then all of your efforts will be shot. Get as much done as you can with the time you have, yet also realize that you’re only human and that the summer’s a time for relaxing, not stressing yourself to the point of confusion.

4. Make activities that are for “summer only” a priority! If you have to choose between cleaning out your attic or taking a weekend beach vacation, which one sounds more promising for the summer? It’s only warm out for a few months out of the year, so take advantage of the sand and sun while you can! The attic and the dishwasher will be there when you get back. There might be a lot of important chores to accomplish at home, but the beach is the perfect place for multi-tasking the right way: you can read a book you’ve been meaning to pick up while relaxing on a beach blanket; maybe in the end, you might even get some extra sun in your brown cheeks! There are so many “summer friendly” activities out there, so make sure you don’t miss out on what’s most desirable during the warm months!

5. If you didn’t do everything you wanted to by summer’s end, start making plans for next summer in advance! Plan that coveted beach vacation now and you’ll already have something good to look forward to for next year – isn’t it about time you treat yourself? Maybe not everything went as planned this summer (maybe your beach days were rained out or you didn’t get all the relaxation you wanted due to the kids), but it’s not all lost! There are many years in the future left for your enjoyment, so don’t be disappointed if you didn’t accomplish all you wanted during these warm summer days. There’s always next year and much time even now to get the priorities done. Keep your life balanced, sisters!

There’s still a month left of summer, girls, so don’t forget to get a mix of planned events and time set aside for relaxation. It’s been a long half a year, so don’t miss out on what could be a productive, exciting end to the warm months!

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