If you’re reading this in the middle of a glorious summer day, just on your way out the door to jump in the pool or go out for ice cream, I’m sorry in advance. 

But it’s time to think about fall. Yes, already.  

I can’t help but start thinking and talking about September while it’s still July. I’ve seen, year after year, how many time management and productivity challenges come up for my clients at this time of year. The transition from summer into fall sneaks up on them. Suddenly they find them themselves in total schedule chaos, just as pumpkin spice starts showing up everywhere.    

The “fall freakout” can be especially brutal in families that are affected by school schedules. Transitioning kids back into school mode is never easy.   

Your morning and bedtime routines might change drastically when a new year starts. Figuring out an after-school schedule might be complicated too, especially in families with full-time working parents. There are a lot of logistics to figure out within your household, on top of all the paperwork and school shopping and back-to-school meetings that a new year requires.  

Fall Transition Time Management Struggles

Professionals who aren’t personally affected by the school schedule can still struggle with time management during the transition to fall.  

Your mindset changes in summer. Hopefully you’ve taken plenty of time to disengage from work and recharge. Your team and clients have been taking time off too. Maybe you’ve gotten used to unwinding after work by spending evenings outdoors in the sun, or you’ve been taking Fridays off to give yourself more time to travel on weekends.   

However you’ve shifted your life and schedule for summer—it’s nearly time to shift it again.  

Naturally you don’t want to think about that while you’re trying to soak in every minute of sunny summer fun. You’re not getting out of that pool or off that beach towel until you absolutely have to. Summers feel especially precious these days, knowing that COVID cases surge when the weather starts to turn cold.  

I want you to soak up every minute of summer that you can. (If you still have unchecked items on your summer bucket list, I want you to get them done!) But I also really want to get you thinking about what fall is going to look like. Being prepared for the next season might actually help you enjoy a peaceful shift, and get the important stuff done at work.  

The Fall Freakout is a Time Management & Productivity Killer

I know how tough the transition from summer into fall can be for time management and productivity. Every year, the start of a new school year totally upends my clients’ schedules and throws everything off. The added pressures of getting kids up early, making school lunches, checking homework, driving to and from after-school activities (and on and on and on) further zap your limited physical and mental energy.  

The colder weather and decreased sunlight also really affects mood and mental health for a lot of people, which affects sleep, concentration, time management and productivity. Shorter days can also inhibit your ability to get outside and exercise before or after work, which can also affect mood and mental health. People who were working productively all summer long might feel out of step and overwhelmed by mid-September just because of the weather changing. 

The good thing about thinking about fall while we’re still firmly in summer territory is that there’s time to plan for a peaceful and productive transition into fall. 

Tips to Make the Summer-to-Fall Transition Easier 

1. Start working on weekly and monthly planning for September now.  Even if you have a ton of question marks about what your real schedule is going to look like this fall, start making plans based on what you do know. Start a list of tasks you need to do in order to get clearer about your September plans. Are there meetings you can schedule right now? Appointments you need to make? Dates you need to confirm with your partner or your child’s school? 

2. Schedule a few fall activities or tasks that you’re excited about. Even if you love fall, it can be hard to see summer end. Brainstorm a few fun things that you can put onto your calendar for September so you have things to look forward to after summer’s over. 

3. Anticipate the biggest challenges so you can troubleshoot in advance. What’s going to be at the core of your own personal fall freakout? Reflect on what’s been difficult about this transition in past years. For example, maybe the thing that’s hardest for you in fall is giving up your nightly summer routine of taking a walk in the sun after dinner. How can you set up your fall schedule so there’s time for you to get outside for a walk during sunlight hours every day?  

Because I know that many smart professionals and entrepreneurs come to me with productivity challenges at the beginning of fall, I want to provide extra support at this time of year. Will you join me on August 25th for a free webinar? 5 Steps to Bust Through Procrastination and Overwhelm will help you develop tools to navigate a busy fall without getting bogged down by overwhelm.

Click here to register: https://truefocuscoaching.lpages.co/bust-through-procrastination-training/ 

Enjoy the rest of your summer! 


Sarah Reiff-Hekking