At the height of summer, thinking about the depths of winter might be the last thing you want to do. Who wants to think about January time management while they’re floating in a pool or eating ice cream at a baseball game? 

I get it! I think we’ve all been waiting for this summer since lockdown began. I’d like you to have the summer you want, whatever that looks like for you. Whether it’s long weekends in the woods, family beach trips, lazy Netflix binges in the air conditioning—I hope you’re creating the time you need to enjoy the things you love this summer

But I also want you to have the fall you want, and the winter you want. They’re not that far away. And after last fall and winter, when things felt so uncontrollable and unpredictable that it seemed impossible to plan ahead, this year can be different. If you start planning nowyou’ll have plenty of time to enjoy summer and you’ll be on track to end the year strong.  

Time Management for Summer and Fall: Setting Yourself Up For Success 

Does this summer feel like the busiest of your life? It seems like a lot of people are trying to fit two summers’ worth of experiences into just a few months. Or maybe your summer schedule looks like it did pre-pandemic, but your time management skills are so rusty after quarantine that you feel totally overwhelmed even during the weekends or vacation. 

It’s going fast, and we’ve all lived through enough summers to know how abrupt and disorienting the start of fall can be. The school schedule is always a big shift for a lot of families; it’s going to be an even bigger adjustment this year in families where kids spent all or most of last year doing school from home. 

Even if you don’t have any students or school employees in your home, the shift from August to September tends to be tough. It’s easy to get discouraged or struggle with time management and productivity when the weather gets colder and the end of the year is suddenly closer. That’s the time when a lot of people start panicking about not being on track with their yearly goals. It only gets worse as we move into November and the winter holidays approach. 

Sound familiar? Rather than kicking yourself for not having planned ahead and scrambling in winter, take just a little time to think ahead about where you’ll be with your overall goals at the end of the year.  

Are you clear about what you want to get done by the end of this year? If so, great! Getting really clear about your goals has to happen before you can start making meaningful progress. Now it’s time to make sure you have a planning process in place that supports you. 

And if you don’t have a goal? What if you’re still figuring out what post-pandemic life is going to look like?  

Well, I can tell you you’re not alone. So many people’s lives changed practically overnight last year. When your life changes, doesn’t it make sense that your goals would change too? Maybe your priorities shifted during lockdown and a lot of your old career goals don’t feel as important anymore. Maybe you’ve made a career change, and are still just trying to find your footing. Perhaps you’ve just spent so many months focused on trying to get through the day that you’ve gotten out of the habit of thinking about your big-picture goals.  

So maybe now’s the time to think about setting a goal while you still have a lot of time to tackle it. We still have more than five months left before New Year’s Eve.  

Here are a few concrete steps to get you started: 

  1. Define where you want to go. Think about how great it’s going to feel to be able to look back on the year and feel proud about what you accomplished during a really difficult year.  What do you want to say you have accomplished come December 31st?  
  1. Take action now, before summer distractions pull you away. Having a plan and routines in place that support your productivity will allow you to make progress on your goals, while getting all the important stuff done and having time for the life you want.  The key here is to be specific about what actions you will take each week to help you land where you want to be by the end of the year.  
  1. Start nowMost people underestimate what they can do in a year and over estimate what they can do in a day.  That means if you start taking clear actions each week between now and December 31, you are likely to reach your goals. But you have to start now… 

Feel like you need support? It’s not too late to have the summer you crave and set yourself up for fall and beyond. Join Jump Start Your Productivity self-study program and learn to take control of your time and create the routines that will steer you toward your goals.  

Register now so you know you’re putting the structure in place that allows you to relax and enjoy the rest of the summer with the knowledge that you’re ready for a great fall.   Click here for more information and to register!  

Happy summer! 

Sarah Reiff-Hekking