From the Archives: Summertime, Summertime

frisbee dog Whether your summer plans involve writing, teaching, travel, or relaxing, we’ve got something in the ProfHacker archives to help.

Plan Your Time: Anastasia points out that we often fall prey to an illusion of an “Endless” Summer and suggests that “more unscheduled time or perceived freedom can be dangerous, with the temptation of grandiose planning and over-commitment.” Last summer she experimented with an alternative calendar app to help plan her summer.

In Summerproofing Your to-Do List, Jason usefully warns that

It can be very easy to reach August with May’s goals largely untouched. This is perhaps especially true when you’re not teaching

Jason lists several task manager tools and approaches in his post, pointing out that it’s worth spending time now to set up whatever system you’ll use to track your summer goals and actions. In Get the Most From Summer With Well-Made Deadlines, Jason highlights how deadlines can help you stay motivated and on track.

George points out that if you’re on a 9-month contract, “summer presents an opportunity to learn something that the busier, teaching-heavy academic calendar prevents us from learning” and asks What Are You Learning This Summer?

Erin jettisons the micromanaging of digital apps for a large scale analog approach in Effective Summer Planning: mapping out her summer on her chalkboard wall. She very wisely states that:

What I am after is a balance so that I can advance my research agenda and also return to campus in the fall rested and ready to go instead of feeling frazzled by last minute tasks and the rush to finish some writing before the semester begins.

Prepare for Writing

If writing is one of your goals for the summer, be sure to check out Billie’s Writers Bootcamp: Summer Writing Edition 2012 which emphasizes the importance of creating a writing plan and writing space — both physical and emotional. But her most important suggestion is this: just write. She says:

It’s easy to convince ourselves that we will have the time tomorrow, or next week, or next year. A day will pass, or a week or a year will slip by and we’ll realize that dissertation hasn’t written itself or that the article that needed to be “polished” is where you left it . . . last summer.

You have to be the one to make the decision to write. You have to do it. You have to push through and get the work done. Maybe our tips and tricks will help you. But it’s ultimately up to you.

Teach, or Plan Your Next Course

Of course, you might be busy right now getting ready for your summer courses. A previous archives post on New Semester, New Year rounds up some of our best links on syllabus design and course planning. Last summer, Jason chronicled his experience of teaching a fully online course in the summer.

Stuff ProfHackers Like

In August of 2011 and 2010 we wrote group posts listing things that helped us get through the summer. These suggest that ProfHackers care a lot about mobile devices, coffee, exercise, hydration, and games, in addition to productivity, pedagogy, and technology.

What are your plans for the summer? Let us know in the comments!

[Creative Commons licensed image by flickr user R. Hensley]

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