Four Tips to Revolutionize the Way You Spend Your Summer

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Four Tips to Revolutionize the Way You Spend Your Summer

We’re always looking to get better, right? If you are listening to this podcast, you probably like to learn new things, or maybe just be reminded of things you already know to help you be a better manager, not just of your money but of your life. We don’t just talk about the stewardship of money on this podcast, but also the stewardship of time. So. today’s episode is super-practical in nature because I’m going to give you four suggestions to help you have no regrets with the way you’ve spent your time this summer. I have four kids, so our summer schedule looks very different from the rest of the year. It’s worth taking the time to think through what we do with our time during this special 10-week window. So here are some tips that I believe could have a huge effect on your productivity and effectiveness:

o Tip #1 – Get Up Early. Now before you push back on this, I’ll share with you that I am not a morning person. I hate getting out of bed. Every single morning that my alarm goes off, everything in my body says, “Go back to sleep.” I try to get up every morning at 5:20, and it’s a battle. Now if I hate getting out of bed early then why am I saying this can be a gamechanger for your effectiveness? Because early in the morning, the only thing competing for your time is sleep. You’re not going to have any appointments scheduled in the 5:00 hour. More than likely your kids aren’t up that early – especially in the summer. There are normally no ball practices, no events, no phones ringing at that time of the morning. This means that you can seize that time to do whatever is most important for you for the day. I use my early rising primarily for two things – to spend time with God in my Bible and to exercise. If I don’t do those two things first thing, they usually will not get done later in the day. There are just too many things that begin to compete. Now this is not an encouragement to also stay up late. I shoot for 7.5 hours of sleep each night, so I try to be in bed by 10:00. In fact, successfully getting up early is often determined the night before by the time you went to bed. You may need more or less sleep than that, but if you get up early consistently, you’ll be ready for bed that evening. One of the things that prevents us from getting up on time is the snooze button. I love the snooze button. I love being able to laugh in the face of my alarm clock (or actually my iPhone) and tell it that I have 9 more beautiful minutes to sleep. As a side note, whoever decided 9 minutes was the universal time for snoozing? Anyway, I love snoozing, but I have found over the years that it changes my entire posture toward the day. Snoozing at the beginning of the day makes it harder for me to do the hard things I know are coming my way. For me, snoozing is like pressing the procrastination button. So, I gave up snoozing a while back. When I get up on my first alarm, I’m pressing into the hard, leaning forward into the day rather than feeling like I’m on my heels. I’m setting the tone for the day that I’m going to charge forward, even if it’s difficult. In order to make it harder for me to snooze, I have my phone in the bathroom, so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. When it was on my nightstand, I would press snooze without even really waking up. I have a better shot of getting up and staying up if I have to physically get out of bed just to turn off the alarm clock. Of all the things I can think of to help you maximize your day, getting up early is number one. When I read the Bible and see certain people having big, incredibly important things ahead of them, you will often see it say, “so and so rose early in the morning.” If you are constantly saying “I don’t have enough time” you’ll find some of it in the morning hours. The question is, “How bad do you really want it?” So do me a favor, try this for a week and see if you don’t have more energy and more peace of mind throughout the day after you’ve put first what you value most. As a side note, it’s kind of fun game to try and get a head start while most of the rest of the world is still sleeping.

o Tip #2 – Utilize the Daylight. That’s one of the blessings of the summer – longer days. So, if you happen to be a morning person, go for a walk, or knock out some of your outside work at the beginning of the day. If you’re an evening person, change clothes after work and head outside. Grill. Mow the yard. Go on a bike ride with your kids. Take a walk with your spouse. Drive over to the park. Play Boche ball in the yard. Get a group together for some pickleball. Plant some flowers. The possibilities outside are endless. You’ve probably had lots of home projects on your list all year, so make a plan to knock them out with the extra daylight. And think about doing away with things that compete with time outside. My family and I actually got rid of one of our streaming services for the summer to give us one less thing competing with the outdoors. We love going to the lake, so we’re going to try and do lots of that this summer. So, identify what you wish you had more time to do outside, and just do it.

o Tip #3 – Rest Strategically. Starting off the episode talking about getting up early and killing the snooze button may have led you to believe that you need to have a legalistic and oppressive summer. Actually, there are unique times to rest throughout the summer. But you want that resting to be intentional and not haphazard. Rest is most fully rest when you are resting from something. If you are disciplined and productive with the bulk of your time, when you do rest, it will be sweet. It will be truly restful. And it will be the fuel for your productivity. There is a difference between laziness and restfulness. See to distinguish them this summer. Try this. Select one day during the week to sleep in a little later, and one day on the weekend to sleep in as late as you want. That means two of seven days you’re getting to relax a bit – you can even use the snooze button those days if you want. The other five days you are getting up early to get a jump on your to-do list. Maybe you don’t need days to sleep in, but you do need evenings to just chill out. That’s okay too. Determine what is truly restful for you and mix it into your schedule. We need a rhythm of work and rest, and you may have to experiment a bit to find it. You don’t want the summer to be a high-pressure non-stop push to be more productive. But you also can’t take a 10-week vacation from all your responsibilities. The Sabbath principal is a ratio of 1:7 or 14% of your waking hours being time to rest/rejuvenate. Keep that in mind as you try to both work and rest well.

o Tip #4 – Journal. One of the things I treasure most is my journals. I have written in one consistently since I was 15 years old. Journals are like time machines. They allow you to pick a date and go back in time to see what you were doing and what you were thinking in that season of life. It’s really hard to do this all year long – so maybe the summer is the perfect time to journal about your year. What are the highlights of your year? What have been its struggles? What is your mindset today? What are you thankful for? Raising kids is a blur, so if I want to remember what my 17-year-old was doing when he was 7 years old, I can just look back in my journals and take a trip down memory lane. If nothing else, try journaling while you are on vacation. Remembering these special times of rejuvenation can be a precious possession somewhere down the road. Taking the time to just stop and reflect is a practice we just don’t do often enough, and the summer might be a great time to do so.

o Now one thing on your list that you might not have gotten around to yet is doing business with Foundation Bank. Now I know that it can be a hassle to move bank accounts. But if you make the move to work with us, I believe you’ll be glad you did. Start a financial conversation with us today by visiting our website at We hope you’ll subscribe to this podcast to it in your favorite podcast app and share it on social media. This episode is not a recommendation specific to your own unique circumstances. Please consult your own advisor for guidance. MBC and Foundation Bank are a member FDIC and an equal housing lender, and until our next episode, God bless you.

-President Chad P. Wilson, CFP

Today’s episode of “Money Matters” was written and recorded by President Chad P. Wilson of Foundation Bank / McKenzie Banking Company on May 29, 2024. This episode does not constitute financial advice. Please consult a financial professional to discuss your specific needs. Any rates mentioned are subject to change and are accurate as of the recording date. Foundation Bank/MBC is an Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC.