What’s your favorite season of the year?  

One out of three people reading this will say it’s fall, if a 2020 poll is accurate. A company called OnePoll asked 2,000 Americans their thoughts about autumn, and 33 percent named it as their favorite season. Other poll questions asked about ideal fall temperatures (average response: 53 degrees) and the very best time of fall (the first two weeks in October).  

But there was another poll finding that I think is even more interesting, at least from my perspective as a time management coach. More than half the people surveyed said they feel happier in fall than they do in other seasons. 

Happiness and Time Management

I’ve written before about happiness and its connection with good time management and productivity. We’re all looking for as much happiness as we can find. Managing your time well diminishes stress and overwhelm (enemies of happiness, right?). Being able to get the most important things done creates a sense of peace and allows you to feel pride in yourself and your work.

Good time management creates plenty of non-work time for you to enjoy happiness-boosting activities like:

  • exercising
  • sleeping
  • traveling
  • spending time with loved ones

I think it’s important to be really intentional about celebrating the joys of fall, especially as we’re just beginning the transition out of summer. I know a lot of people struggle with mood and productivity when the long, sunny days start getting shorter and colder. The craziness of a fall schedule is also starting to stress people out right about now. Any family that’s affected by the school schedule tends to have a few rocky weeks adjusting to new routines.  

Fall is a Fresh Start

I’m also hearing from people who are struggling right now because of some summer regrets. They feel like the season raced by so fast that they didn’t end up doing all the things they wanted to do. Extreme heat and rising prices also kept some people from the summer activities they had planned to enjoy. Or, they didn’t get the things done at work that they had planned to do and they’re feeling defeated going into fall.  

Here’s the takeaway: Peaceful productivity and good time management are within your reach this fall, no matter what kind of summer you had.  

Fall is its own kind of fresh start. Try to shift away from thinking of the transition out of summer as the end of something, but as the beginning of a season that’s filled with possibilities for happiness.  

The things you didn’t get done in summer? Let go of them, or reschedule them for fall if they’re important enough. If you didn’t have a great summer, that’s okay—it doesn’t mean you won’t have a great fall. Try to be intentional about adopting a positive mindset for the season ahead.  

3 Time Management Tips for a Fun and Focused Fall 

#1: Make an autumn bucket list!

Whether or not you made and completed a summer bucket list this year, start fresh with a new bucket list for fall. Write down a list of everything you want to do and experience between now and Thanksgiving. Your list might include some big work-related tasks you want to get done, but make sure it’s heavy on happy. Even something as seemingly small as “drink a mug of warm cider” belongs on your list if it’s something that will bring you joy this autumn. Not only will you enjoy that cider when you taste it, but you’ll also get a little moment of excited anticipation every time you run your eyes over that list.  

#2: Take stock of what went well this summer.

Even if it was chaotic or seemed to rush by before you could enjoy it, reflecting on the positive elements of this summer should help you find experiences to build on for fall. Swipe back through the happy photos you took this summer and think about the tough projects you got done. Were there any summer habits or activities that you want to carry with you into fall? Any new hobbies, passion projects or self-care strategies you want to make time for?  

#3: Start fresh with your time management system.

Okay, you have a list of fall bucket list items you want to check off, and some habits and activities you want to take with you into fall… on top of everything else that’s already filling up your jam-packed schedule. Don’t attempt to play “time management Jenga” by trying to cram new fall tasks into the schedule you’ve been following all summer. Instead, build daily, weekly and monthly plans for fall from scratch. Schedule the most important things first, including some of those happy-boosting bucket list items. You’ll add to and adjust your plans as fall progresses, but knowing that you’ve scheduled time for your highest-priority tasks should help you avoid some stress. Enjoy that warm cider and some apple picking without worrying that work is piling up while you’re enjoying the season.  

I know that the fall transition gets tough for a lot of people, even accomplished professionals and business owners. It can be difficult to feel excited about a productive and happy fall when you’re overwhelmed by everything you have to get done and feel like you don’t know where to start.  
 
Could you use my support throughout the season? Time Matters Boot Camp 90-Day virtual program starts on September 6th! This program is designed for professionals and business owners who are ready to get serious about breaking through the time management challenges that are holding them back.

Click here for more information and to register.  

Wishing you a happy September! 

Sarah 

Sarah Reiff-Hekking
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