The problem is that summer goes by in the blink of an eye, and many students miss out on things they wanted to do because they didn’t plan well. I get it! And here is HOW you can get started planning, even if you hate planning, and it’s pretty easy too. Check it out and get started, so YOU can have the experiences that matter to you this summer, and NOT miss out on things that matter to you.
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Video Transcript: Click here to download the transcript PDF.
Hey, what’s up, students? In this video I’m going to show you usually middle, high school, and college students, I’m going to show you how to plan for your summer, even if you hate planning. My name is Seth Perler. I’m an executive function coach and I help struggling students navigate this thing called education so that you can have an awesome life. One of the things that happens is that people often hate planning, people that I work with, often hate planning and I used to hate planning. So in this video, I’m going to talk about how to plan your summer even if you hate planning. I’m going to talk about a few things like who, why, where, how, when, and why again, but I’m going to show you exactly how to plan your summer, even if you are someone who doesn’t like planning. Parents and teachers, if you’re watching this and you have a student that you care about, that’s an awesome human being, and you want them to have an awesome summer and an awesome life, this video may be good for them, too.
First of all, students, let me talk about the resistance. The executive function, the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the front third of your brain, helps you to execute tasks. If you have resistance, number one is if you have resistance to planning and you think, “I don’t like planners, I don’t need planners, I hate planners, planners don’t work for me, I don’t like planning, I keep it in my head out, I’ll remember it. I promise, I know, I remember.” And then you find yourself not remembering things. Then you find yourself thinking, “Oh, I’ll do this, I’m going to have this plan, I’m going to accomplish this thing, I’m going to go to this place.” Then weeks or months later, you’re like, “You know what, I never did that thing.” You can move on to other things. But you’re really missing a lot of opportunities in life. That’s part of executive function. That’s what I struggle with. You know, I’ve struggled to plan things. The reason I have a good life today is because I figured out how to work with executive function better, not perfectly, but just better. So I’m going to show you how I plan things and how you might plan your summer so that you can have a better summer. That’s the number one problem, the resistance.
Number two, what I want to mention is this, that a lot of the stuff, I’m going to do a screenshot right here, this is the document I’m going to be working with. But a lot of the students that I work with, number two, they want to get a summer job, or they want to make money during summer, they want to do certain things with friends, or certain hobbies, or get better at certain things that they like. Their skateboarding, their art, their music, their hobbies, whatever, they want to get better at certain things. They want to do certain things, they have certain goals. They’re like, “Oh, I’m going to do this and this summer.” They think they’re going to do it and what happens with us, people like me, and maybe you start with executive function, like I’m someone who has ADHD. If you have ADHD, autism, dyslexia, whatever, or you just struggle to get things done, and you always have missings, and lates, and zeros, and incomplete work, and you forget about tasks and do things last minute, if you struggle with this executive function thing as I do, well, then we got to figure out how to plan. What happens is that opportunities pass us by over, and over, and over, and over. It’s hard to see how much collectively that adds up in our life. What I mean by ‘adds up’ is it adds up by not adding up, we’re not doing one cool thing, after another cool thing, after another cool thing, that’s good for our life. It doesn’t feel like it’s adding up because just it’s the boy, nothing’s really happening. But what’s adding up is something called opportunity costs. We’re losing opportunities, there’s a cost, that we’re losing out on things. It’s really important to be honest with myself about what the opportunities I’m losing out on are because I’m prioritizing things that aren’t really that important.
Here we go. How do you plan your summer, even if you hate planning? We’re going to start with Who who are you? You are usually either in middle, high school, or college, or you might be a parent or a teacher who struggles with executive function. But you are somebody who might struggle with planning, organization, time management, getting things done on time, waiting to the last minute, priorities, prioritizing things that aren’t the most important thing. But you’re also somebody who wants to have a better life, you’re honest with yourself, you’re not somebody who just pretends that things aren’t going on. You’re like, “Yeah, I actually do I kind of struggle with this stuff. And I actually do want to have an awesome life and not be a victim and blame everybody. I want to take responsibility and have a cool life.” If that’s you, then that’s who this is for.
Second, why does this even matter? Because we have this blip of a lifetime. You’re gonna be alive for what maybe 100 years? How old are you now? 10 15, 20? You know, we have this little bit of time. Life goes by so fast. Time is so precious. Life is so precious. It’s precious. It’s it’s valuable. Every moment is precious. When we waste away moments, then we’re really losing out on quality of life. So why, why does this matter? Because when we learn to plan better, we have a better quality of life. We contribute more to the world, our communities, to our families, to our friends, we contribute more to our own lives. We have a better quality of life, we are generally happier as human beings, and more whatever, however you define successful. You’re able to live the life you want to live. That’s why planning matters. So that’s the next one. Who, why where. Where. I’m going to suggest you do your planning is online. Basically, there are three main places as the where. One is a document, Google Docs is what I’m going to use today. Two is something called Google Keep, which is associated with your email. In fact, if you look right here at this little yellow button here to the right, that little yellow square is called Google Keep. It’s awesome, it’s a great place to make plans. The next one is called Google Tasks. And that is this little blue thing right here. You can also use a journal or a notebook, you can also use any number of other places. But the ‘where’ that we are going to do our planning today is just going to be on this document right here. Then we have ‘how.’ How do we do this planning? Alright, so let me show you right here. First of all, I’m going to go ahead and start here. I’m going to get rid of this stuff. I’m going to call I’m going to say here, “Summer Plan 2021.” In this case, I don’t know when you’re watching this, it might be 2028 for all I know. I’m going to make this some more reasonable size, like 18 or something, and watch what happens here. When I click right there, it makes the name of the document. So there’s my document. Now, I’m going to start here, and I’m just going to go back. Basically, what I’m showing you right now, I’m just making up. This is nothing special, okay? Listen, the magic of planning isn’t doing some, “Oh, I have the magic way. I have the best way. This is the coolest plan, blah, blah, blah,” it does not matter. Now I can show you a lot of cool ways to plan but it does not matter. All that matters is that you do something. Do it how you like to do it. Just do something. The worst thing that you can do is nothing because if you don’t, people who fail to plan plan to fail. Oh wait, yeah, plan to fail, that’s how it goes. So if we fail to plan, we plan to fail.
What are your goals this summer? For example, maybe you want to make some money. And you can just list these out, let’s say you want to make $3,000, right? Let’s say you want to have fun, let’s say want to read two books for yourself, let’s say you want to volunteer and help the world or people in some way. Let’s say that you want to do some projects in your house, your bedroom, get rid of stuff declutter, let’s say declutter. Maybe you get to unsubscribe and deal with your inbox this summer. Maybe you do things to help your parents or your family, whatever. You have some goals. Now what you can do is you can prioritize your goals. You can just say, what’s the most important goal you have of all? Maybe your most important goal is to declutter? Is that even a word? But let’s just say that decluttering, let’s say you have a lot of clutter in your life, let’s say that, is I still misspelled it… let’s say that that’s your number one goal. Maybe you put that there. Anyhow, you want to now prioritize. Now we have some goals, now we can prioritize them. If I click this button, it organizes them. So what I like to do for myself is I like to duplicate the list, because I like to have a second list. This is where Google keeper Google tasks can really come in very handy. But I like to have a master list, which is that one. So I do these sorts of goals all the time, by the way. There, where are we here? There we go. So now I messed up the numbers, so I’m going to redo the numbers. If we take it off and put it back on, it’s going to put them back to number one through nine. Then I like to put sub-goals. So now this is huge. This is a giant font. For the details, I don’t want a giant font. I’m going to make details on these. Now, what am I going to declutter? Maybe I’m going to declutter my inbox then I’m going to declutter my closet one day, maybe I’m going to declutter the garage, or my sporting goods, stuff, my old clothing, my old books, toys, under the bed. Maybe drawers, whatever. Anyhow, so let’s say that that’s part of decluttering, those are some of the things. Maybe I get an idea for how I want to make $3,000, maybe I’m gonna like mow lawns, maybe I’m gonna get a job.
Now, I’m gonna pause right here because a lot of my students say that they want to get a job, right? I mean, I’ve been doing this a long time, students, okay. A lot of my students will say, “Oh, I’m going to get a job this summer, I’m going to do this and this, I’m going to,” and the problem is with executive function is that they can’t plan enough to go get the application, to do the application, to figure out all the details of the application, to take the application back in. I mean, these are students like me who forget to turn in their homework, even though their name is on it and it’s done. How is somebody like that gonna even get a job application in? These are problems that you have to work with. But if you start the goal, then you can start thinking about stuff like that. The reason I mentioned that is because ‘get job’ doesn’t just mean getting job. ‘Get job’ means ‘go to 10 places,’ let’s say. Let’s say ‘do applications one day,’ let’s say ‘turn in applications,’ whatever. A job doesn’t just appear. Now, sadly, and what I mean by sadly, is for some of you a job does disappear. That’s because people did it for you. But you didn’t learn the lesson of how to do it yourself. People are holding your hand like you’re a little child. If you want to be treated like that your whole life, that’s cool, but nobody wants that. We want to be treated like adults, we want to be treated maturely, so we need to act like it. But when people are doing everything for us, it makes it really hard. We need to learn to, you know, is making $3,000, maybe get a job, what needs to happen? Anyhow, I could go through and I could go on with all these things, which I’m not going to do. But what you’re noticing me do here is I’m starting to make a plan. I’m starting to prioritize the plan. I’m starting to do what is called ‘chunking,’ chunking, chunking. We’re chunking these big things. The biggest thing here is to have a great summer. But we are chunking in smaller pieces. Here, my goal is to have a great summer. Here are my sub-goals to reach those goals. Again, I don’t care if he’s Google Keep, I don’t care if he’s bullets or numbers in your list, I don’t care if you use a piece of paper or journal, or write it on a whiteboard, or the refrigerator, whatever.
Just take time to make a plan. Why? You are worth it. Life is this blip, you’re gonna have an awesome life. To have this awesome life, things don’t just magically happen. Because you’re turning into an adult, you’re growing up, you’re learning more responsibility. We talked about ‘who,’ we talked about ‘why,’ we talked about ‘where,’ Google Docs, Google Keep, Google Tasks, in a journal, whatever. We talked a little bit about ‘how.’ The other thing I want to talk about with ‘how,’ is as you’re doing these details, you might think about ‘when.’
The next one is ‘when.’ It doesn’t just happen, and people struggling with executive function, we tend to think things are just going to happen. So for example, if I’m going to go to 10 places to get a job application, I might write on Friday, June 15th, or whatever. I don’t even know if that’s a real date. But that’s what I’m going to do it. Maybe I’m gonna do it from 12 to 5 pm. I’m gonna ride my bike around, or get rides, or whatever. Do the applications maybe on Saturday and Sunday. The ‘when’ is really important because my students think, you know, it’s like January, they’re thinking, “I’m going to get a job this summer.” It’s February, March, April. It’s April, they haven’t done anything, they haven’t reached out, they haven’t asked, they’re like, “I’m going to get a job,” but they haven’t done anything to plan or think about it. It’s May, it’s June, it’s July, it’s August, it’s September and school is starting back up. Summer went by, nothing happened, no money was made, no job was made, or whatever the goal is. So the ‘when’ on your goals is really important. Let’s say one day, you’re going to work on your inbox or your bloset, which means closet, I spelled it wrong, or you’re sporting good stuff, or all your electronics, or whatever the stuff is, you’re going to declutter. Pick a time to do it. Even if you don’t do it at that time, pick the time. The important thing is to plan, it’s not as important to follow the plan. You don’t even have to follow the plan perfectly. You’re not going to do all this stuff on your goals, but you’ll do a lot more than if you didn’t make goals.
I’m going to wrap up here, that’s just a little bit about goal making, you can go way deeper with this. The only reason I’m as successful in life today is because I learned to make goals and follow through. With my executive function challenges and my ADD, this was really hard for me. In fact, it still is, but I have tools and methods and ways to do this. I’m showing you one great way to do this. So go out there and let me finish with this last thing. The last thing is ‘why’ again. Why would I suggest that you plan? Because life’s a blip. Your life matters. You matter. What you bring to the world matters. We need you, the world needs you, I need you, your family needs you, your community needs you. Literally, literally, you have an impact on the world. We need you to develop into your best self and have an awesome life. Because the better you have an awesome life, the better you’re able to execute and get the things done that matter to you, and the things that are important, and the things that are of service to others, and the things that come from your heart, and that come from love, and come from kindness, and generosity, the more you’re better at having a great life for yourself, the more you contribute to everybody. So we literally need you. The ‘why’ to do this stuff this summer is for yourself and for the world. To have a better life, to have a better quality of life.
Anyhow, I believe in you. If I could figure this stuff out, anybody can. Is it hard? Yes. Can you do it? Yes. Do the best you can and have a great summer. Again, my name is Seth Perler at SethPerler.com. If you liked this video, give it a thumbs up. What goals do you have for the summer? How do you set goals? How do you not set goals? Do you have any advice for us on what not to do? What are some of your thoughts? What’s one thought that you have on this video? Leave a comment below, give it a thumbs up if you like it, share it with somebody if you like it. You get to subscribe, do all the things, I don’t really care. Have a fantastic day, be good to yourself, be kind to others. Take care.