Written by the Professional Organizers in Canada
Can you feel the excitement in the air? We look forward to the warm summer months all year round, but soon enough they're gone and it's Labour Day and back-to-school again.
How do we manage our time before all 90 summer days start to drift away? Ask an expert! Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) have an impressive roster of members who can provide valuable information on time management.
"Canadian summers always seem to fly by with everyone surprised when Labour Day rolls around," says Kristie Demke, President, POC. "However, just like everything else in life, you CAN get organized and ensure that every possible moment is enjoyed, whether on vacation or simply enjoying your free time away from work. There is a way to get the most out of your summer months."
Unlike some places in Western Europe where employees are given four to six weeks as the holiday standard, Canadians are typically allocated just two weeks and most employees book that time off during the summer time. Two weeks can disappear quickly if you don't plan ahead!
Whether you go away or simply plan to stay home and relax it's always good to get organized. Here are some tips on how to maximize your vacation time so you fully enjoy it without getting overwhelmed:
- Plan your vacation time well in advance so that you are not looking at the calendar realizing that between the kids' camps, the family reunion, and month-end at work, you actually don't have two weeks in a row that you can spend at the lake, on a road trip, or enjoying a "stay-cation" right in your own city.
- Try to book a mixture of activities, relaxation, and perhaps even a project or two. You don't want to pack so much into your vacation that you are exhausted when you return to work, nor do you want to squander your precious vacation days doing nothing!
- Make a list of all the things you want to do (visit the relatives, spend a few days at the lake, tour a museum or two, catch up on the latest "beach" novel, paint the deck) and incorporate all those activities into your vacation. "Another common problem during the summer is that everyone's calendar tends to be very busy", adds Demke. "Whether it's a wedding, shower or BBQ at a friend's place, your summertime calendar - especially the weekends - can get very full very quickly."
Here are some tricks on how to keep your schedule under control and your stress levels down:
- Get all the family members and their calendars in one place, and make a list of all the events you've been invited to as well as all the activities you want to do, such as the annual fishing weekend.
- Figure out which events are "must attend", which are "nice but optional", and which are "it would be great to have an excuse to miss" and schedule accordingly. If down time is especially important to you and your family, actually plan a "No activities" weekend and put it on the calendar so that you can look forward to just relaxing.
- Figure out if there are household activities that can be put "on hold" throughout the precious days of summer. Perhaps plan simpler meals so that less time is spent in preparation-implement "sandwich night" once a week, for instance. Don't worry if the house has a more "lived in" look during July and August.
- Do your best to resist the temptation to fill the time normally devoted to homework, music and sports practice with other activities.
POC members work to educate and help Canadians find calm, balance and efficiency on a day-to-day basis. Implement the valuable organization tips provided and you'll be read to enjoy every moment by the time June 21st (the official first day of summer) rolls around. And if you want to enjoy a little extra leisure time this summer, hire a professional organizer to help you out. To find a Professional Organizer in your area, visit the POC website at organizersincanada.com.