You may choose to use summers to network and read, as well as update your résumé, LinkedIn profile and other social media platforms. But what do ultra-productive people do in the summer? They take advantage of slow times to engage in activities that require more attention and energy. Here are five activities successful people engage in during the summer that will advance your career:

1. Take a course.

If you have an interest in a subject or want to fill a gap in your experience, take a course (in-person or online). Successful people are proactive, always learning and investing in their professional development.

2. Write.

There are fewer distractions from writing at this time of the year. Put your thoughts down in a journal, post an article on LinkedIn or submit a piece to a magazine or online platform.

Take the opportunity to share your thoughts and demonstrate your expertise. Writing is one of the best ways to increase your influence. Put your pen to paper and start sharing your thoughts.

3. Speak publicly.

Identify opportunities to speak in front of people. Speak up at a team meeting or at a conference. Be intentional and seek opportunities to speak publicly.

Tip: Writing can lend itself to speaking opportunities at public meetings and conferences. If you want to be a speaker, start writing. Build up your reputation as a thought leader in a particular space.

4. Start a passion project.

If you have an interest in doing something at work or outside of work, explore that interest. If you don’t explore your interest, you can stunt your engagement and productivity levels.

Put together a symposium on women’s empowerment at work if that’s been something you have wanted to do. Build a website. Create a slide show of your travels to teach children about the world. Unleash your passion before your passion, if suppressed, becomes a barrier to your success.

5. Connect with journalists.

You may be an expert, but only a few people may know about you. Being quoted in articles demonstrates your expertise to a larger audience.

Get to know the writers of the articles you read. Connect with journalists on Twitter. If you read a newspaper article and the journalist’s e-mail is listed, e-mail the person.

Let journalists know of your expertise so that they know to reach out when they need a source. If you are not the best fit for the story, offer to connect them with someone in your network that can help. Be helpful. Don’t just be a source. Be a resource.

Successful people use slow times of the year to get ahead. Use the summer to take your thinking and knowledge to the next level and pave a path of fruitful opportunity for yourself.