Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer's Here!

6 Ways to Help you Use Your Time Wisely Now That Summer's Here!

Summer is here and school is out for most of you by now. You probably have a TPT To Do List a mile long. I know I always did when I was teaching. A couple of things I always found out though were 1) I needed a break from school-related things and 2) Summer break goes by quickly!

What can you do to use your time wisely this summer?

1) Take time for yourself and your family! Teachers need to relax and unwind before they gear up for the next school year.

2) Make a schedule! I have an "Ideal Week" schedule that I try to go by. Michael Hyatt has talked a lot about the Ideal Week on his blog. Click here for his posts and podcasts. Basically, take a weekly calendar sheet and block off the things you do every week. Don't forget meal times, family time, exercise, church, weekly play dates, etc. Then with the time you have left block off your product creation time, blog post time, social media content time, pinning time, etc. Each week try to follow your "Ideal Week" that you have created. It may need tweaked as you go along. You also may find this helping when you move back into school mode. Here is what mine looks like. You can download a blank copy and my example here. A Numbers and an Excel version are both included. Let me know if you have any troubles with it.

3) Be aware of the Time Suckers! We all have 24 hours in the day. What are you doing with your 24 hours? Being at home all day, I found myself browsing Pinterest, Facebook, the TPT forum, watching shows on my computer, and piddling away my day. I installed Rescue Time on my computer (sorry only for Mac users) and found out how much the piddling around was sucking time from my day. When I realized how much time I was wasting, I was able to move away from my Time Suckers and be more productive most days. I'm not perfect, and I do get caught up in the piddling and watching Project Runway episodes. There are apps for your phone that can also show your Time Suckers, but you probably already know what your time suckers are.

4) Set timers and power through! You may need to set a timer to work on a product for 30 minutes or an hour. Power hours (I learned this from Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive) are an hour of time that allows you to focus on a specific "job". It could be to work on a product for 60 minutes. Maybe spend 60 minutes doing social media or Pinterest scheduling (not browsing for fun but being productive). You might want to work on blog posts for 60 minutes or create the graphics for your posts. Use the 60 minutes to create product pins that aren't covers. Decide what you are going to work on and set the timer! Get focused for 30-60 minutes. I used the app 30/30 when I first started doing TPT full-time. It helped me stay focused and work.

5) Don't stress about the To Do List! When you have a list a mile-long, nothing really gets accomplished. Do a brain dump and write down everything you can think of that you want to do with your store this summer. Then each day pick a couple of things to work on and write them down in your planner or on another list. Don't stare at the mile-long list every day. You will find yourself defeated before you even get started.

6) Start your day with a positive mindset! Some days this is hard. Go find some positive quotes to read. Print your favorites out or write them down so you can look at them daily.

Interested in additional information on planning and scheduling? Check out Plan Focus and Move Forward with Your TPT Store.

I hope this gives you some ideas to get focused for the summer.


  1. MANDY! I feel like this blogpost was made for me! I am right at the beginning of my journey e.g. no completed products yet, let alone all the bells and whistles, and this blog post has helped centre me and bring me back some focus. Thanks for the link to the schedule template and the 30/30 app also. Do you have twitter?

  2. Great list! I'll be sure to save it in some of my TPT groups. :)

    I'm guilty of piddling away my day, especially when I working on a less-fun project. I'm gonna have to check out Rescue Time.

    Michael Hyatt is fabulous. Have you discovered Tim Ferris? He has a lot of great productivity tips.

    Best wishes,

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I have heard of Tim Ferris. I will have to check out his podcasts.