staying on track

Summer is an in-limbo season for me. Feelings of freedom, spontaneity, and “the world is my oyster” jump to mind, but alongside the thrill comes a simultaneous urgency – the weight of everything I need to do before another school semester begins.

It’s easy to sink into relaxation after the last piano lessons of the school year are completed in May or June – whether that means becoming a regular at local coffee shops, sleeping in every day for a week, or taking long walks to appreciate the natural beauty that fills your corner of the planet. This time to rest and recharge is invaluable.

For me, the hard part is getting back out of that happy-go-lucky-ness and back into a pattern of highly-energized motivation and productivity. Different priorities take over: a laundry list of every day life [including…well, laundry]. Packing and unpacking as we move into a new home, cooking three meals a day instead of grabbing a granola bar on my way out the door, setting up summer lessons, purging my closet [spring cleaning hit me late]…welcome to the mundane.

So how do you navigate the balance of “everyday life” with planning, organizing, and gearing up for whatever August/September brings?

Here are a few things that have helped me adjust to the different-ness of summer:

  1. get up early: make a cup of coffee, go for a walk or run, read a book, or plan your day. but don’t let 10 am roll around and still be scrolling through Instagram in bed! choose one or two days [hello weekend] to sleep in, but don’t let every day begin late.
  2. write a list: sometimes the list of seemingly insignificant “to-do”s is overwhelming. where to start?! write down a “master list” each week [which can be added to], and then each day, pick 5-8 things you WILL accomplish in that day. you can even put a few things “on deck” for the next day. prioritizing is everything!
  3. find a routine: it can be a weekly schedule, or even three things you want to do every single day. be consistent, whatever you choose. my three things every day are: practice piano, write in my journal, and get outside/enjoy nature. I’ve found that these are simple “tasks” I can rely on to engage my creative side, and replenish from the school months of pouring into my students.
  4. plan enrichment opportunities: whether it’s a conference, festival, or performance, I want to continue to grow as an artist, teacher, and person through the summer months. this extra “free” time allows for intentional moments away from the daily grind, while connecting with other musicians, writers, teachers, and entrepreneurs from around the world.
  5. schedule my fall: one of the things that helps me settle into summer is looking forward to September, and the teaching, traveling, and regular work routine that comes with a school semester.

What do you do to “stay on track” in the summer? Tell me in the comments!

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