Your summer schedule’s probably filled with weekend getaways, extra downtime, and happy hours galore. And, well, basically anything that’s relaxing. While we’re all for chilling out (it’s good for you!), wouldn’t it also be nice to use that extra time to do something you couldn’t normally fit in during the busier months?
We’ve lined up five ways to challenge both yourself and your career this summer. And no, don’t worry, they’re not going to steal (too much) time away from your daily routine of laying out, liking scenic hammock photos on Instagram, and indulging in fruity drinks. In fact, the biggest step is to pick your challenge and actually get started.
With that in mind, let’s go!
1. Learn a New Skill
You can never have too many skills. So, kick off your learning by checking out this article on the best secrets to learning one . Whether you want to work on your writing, learn a new design program to add to your resume, or figure out how to do basic coding, we’ve also got you covered with our list of 43 free online courses you can sign up for this summer. The topics and duration range, but they’re all free, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.
2. Get Organized
Missed the boat on spring cleaning? No worries! You can use the summer to finally organize your workspace. Start by clearing off your desk (or wherever you sit down to do work at home) and treating yourself to some new office supplies. Then, head over to your inbox and go through all of your emails—delete, archive, and respond to those pesky ones you’ve been putting off. Then, download one of these email apps to take control of all of your unread messages in the future.
Once your email’s under control, you can move on to managing your to-do list. Start with this list of 44 apps that help you stay productive. It has everything you need—from the best to-do lists to simple reminders to file storage.
3. Read a Book You Normally Wouldn’t
Now, we know your idea of relaxation probably involves picking up the latest fiction sensation or an easy beach read, but what if you could learn something from a different genre? This summer, try reading something that teaches you a little about success, your industry, or overcoming challenges. Nothing in mind? We have 20 options for you right here . Hey, if Oprah recommends it, it must be good.
4. Reach Out to a (Possible) Mentor
No matter where you’re at in your career, a mentor can provide you with much needed professional advice and support. So why not take the time to make a list of options and start reaching out? Best case scenario: You find someone awesome! (And if that’s the case, you’re going to want to read this ). Worst case, you work on your cold call email skills and make a few new connections along the way.
5. Work on a Side Project
We all have things that we absolutely love to do, but just can’t seem to find the time for . Let’s make this the summer of no more excuses, and finally kick off that side project you keep talking about. And who knows, if it takes off (and sometimes they really do!), you can actually start thinking about turning it into a career .
Sign Up Now for “How to Finally Start Your Side Project”
It’s a free class from The Muse with short, practical and—dare we say—fun lessons sent directly to you.
Everyone can use their extra time in the summer to their advantage—so don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
Photo of coffee and book courtesy of Shutterstock .
TopicsTools & Skills , Job Skills , Motivation , Syndication , Getting Ahead , Career Advice , Productivity
A UNC-Wilmington grad born and raised in North Carolina, Kaitlyn always knew she would end up in NYC to pursue writing. As a summer editorial intern, she contributes career advice to The Muse. In addition, she also writes for other publications, such as USA TODAY College, Her Campus, and The Huffington Post. You can find her searching the city for the best eats, binge-watching Netflix, or catching up with friends at dinner. Say hi on Twitter @KaitlynRussell_More from this Author