Simple Tips for a Productive Summer

Most of us want summer to be relaxed, carefree and fun, but often we feel just as stressed out as the rest of the year. The best way I’ve found to maximize the openness of the vacation weeks is by putting a little thought into the time management of your days off. Often, we find the most satisfaction in accomplishing something, so by planning the ways you’ll be productive, you can actually feel more relaxed overall. Trying a few of these simple steps can help even the busiest of families embrace the hot days and enjoy the starry nights.

1.  Have a “cook day” once a week

Freezer meal ideas are all over the Internet, and you can find just about anything to suit even the pickiest eater. You don’t actually have to cook anything on your cook day. But shopping for seven meals, and simply doing all the prep work of rinsing meat, cutting vegetables, and packaging them, you will save the clean up time each day you would have had to do, and you won’t have to worry about what to make each day. One pot and slow cooker meals will maximize your time even more. On your “cook” day, make a list of the meals, write if they need a side dish (we often add a salad or rice), and then post it somewhere where even the kids can see. Then give them the option of choosing, and you just might get less complaining at dinner.

2. Make a summer bucket list
I am so forgetful, that if I don’t mark something down at my immediate thought, it might be gone for good. Give each family member the option of writing down some things they’d like to do over the summer, and places they like to go. Then put it out where you can be reminded of ideas to do on those “I’m bored!” days. The list can have simple ideas like “create an obstacle course” or short adventures like “visit Belle Isle.” You can even put some of those forgotten chores, like going through the kids closets, on the list to get them done when the time is available.

3. Set some goals

Whether you only have a week, or the next three months to fill, set one goal for each member of the family for that allotted time. Kids can get involved too. The goal can be either a task you want mastered (Jacob to learn to buckle his seatbelt), or a new habit you want to form (set aside 15 minutes a day to read). By having just one goal that you are focusing on accomplishing, you are much more likely to complete it. Having that one thing to look back on as completed will give you a sense of productivity in the midst of vacation. Be sure to set a realistic goal, and pick something that will help the family or you relax more overall.

4. Share the load

If your house is like ours, it’s much messier in the summer months. Give each family one chore they can own, and accommodate your little helpers by making cleaning easy for them. Put empty baskets in rooms for random toys. Get a cordless lightweight vacuum that grade school kids can easily maneuver. Move dishes and cups into cupboards that are accessible for kids to assist in unloading the dishwasher. Buy a smaller laundry basket so they can literally help carry the load. If you don’t enjoy stepping on Legos, or stubbing your toe on a misplaced truck, get organized together, and save a band-aid.

Good luck implementing some of these great ideas, and kick back in the sun with a book and some iced tea!

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at

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