The Summer-to-Fall Transition Doesn’t Have to Be So Hard This Year 

The summer-to-fall transition is always rough, even if you’re excited for autumn. For most of us, our routines, schedules, and priorities start shifting somewhere around late August or early September. All that upheaval tends to make good time management even harder than usual. You might spend weeks trying to catch up and get your time organized, while things fall through the cracks, and you ultimately end up feeling totally overwhelmed and wishing you were back on summer vacation.

I know there are a lot of ways the summer-to-fall transition can challenge your peace and productivity.

Shorter days and colder weather put an end to some of the fun outdoor things we did all summer. For some people, getting less sunlight can have a very real and significant impact on their mental health, which can negatively affect things like productivity and mood. Households that include kids or school employees go through a ton of upheaval in routines and schedules when the new school year begins.

The start of fall also means the start of Q4, and you might find yourself totally overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done before the end of the year. Everyone’s back at work and back in hustle mode, and all your clients, team members, and loved ones need a lot from you. You want to increase your billable activity and finish the year strong for your business, but you also don’t want to miss the soccer games, apple-picking trips, weekend getaways, and whatever else you love about fall. And the promise of holiday chaos and gloomy winter weather is coming up ahead.

So, yes, there’s a lot to manage both logistically and emotionally as we move from summer into fall! It’s natural to feel a little gloomy and maybe even feel a little dread when you think about everything that’s coming at you between now and New Year’s. But if you sink down into that mindset of “oh no, everything’s about to get really overwhelming,” you’re not setting yourself up for the kind of fall you want this year.

Leaning Into the Summer-To-Fall Transition

What if, this year, you were really intentional about leaning into this transition period and all it’s positive opportunities? 

It’s inevitable that summer will end, so why not embrace that and look for some joy and optimism in the process of planning for things to shift in fall? The choices you make now can shape the course of the rest of your year. Take this opportunity to proactively plan for a great fall. You can use the transition period in late August/early September to take positive steps like: 

Get really clear about your expectations for this fall.

Are you determined to absolutely knock it out of the park this fall? You’re going to land that huge client, complete that big goal ahead of schedule, get back to the gym every day and finish the backyard remodel! I commend the idea of setting big goals and having faith in your ability to accomplish them… I also know that life happens. Maybe you’ll land the big client, stay on-track with your goal progression, hit the gym two or three times a week and make zero progress in the backyard but have a lot of fun weekend adventures with your family. That could still feel like a really great use of your fall if landing that client and enjoying quality time with your family were among your top priorities.

So, before September starts, take some time to ask yourself… Knowing what my schedule and commitments are probably going to look like this fall, what are the top things that I want to get done and can feasibly get done over the next few months?  

Do some big-picture thinking about what Q4 looks like for your business.

Before you get deep into the daily grind post-Labor Day, take this time to do some broad, open-ended thinking about where your business is going and where your pain points are. Maybe you’ll come up with an out-of-the-box idea for attracting new clients or have some other breakthrough about how to grow your business. You need to give yourself dedicated time to do that brainstorming, and it’s going to be hard to find that time once you’re actually into fall craziness.  

Generate some excitement for fall.

Now’s the time to start thinking about what you want to put on your fall bucket list, so you can pack the season full of activities that bring you joy. Are there concerts, festivals, sporting events, etc. happening in your area that you can get tickets for now? Restaurants or other places you’ve been meaning to go to, that you can make plans with friends to visit?  

Celebrate the progress you’ve made on your yearly goals so far.

Any transition point is a natural time to pull back and evaluate your overall progress toward your yearly goals. And maybe even adjust them so they’re aligned with your current priorities. But the shift into fall is also a great opportunity to take a beat, look back over the first two-thirds of the year, and acknowledge all the progress you’ve already made toward those goals this year. Let the reminder of everything you’ve already accomplished motivate you to finish the year strong.   

3 Action Steps for Right Now to Prepare for a Smooth Transition to Fall 

#1 – Touch base with all the key people in your life about what the transition’s going to look like this year.

Be proactive about having conversations with your clients, team members, family and anyone else whose schedule is interlinked with yours. Get a sense of what kind of attention people are going to need from you and when. If you have a big client who says, I know I’m going to be really busy and hard to reach during the first weeks of September, maybe you can schedule some extra time to meet at the end of August. This way, you aren’t stressed trying to track them down later on. This is also an opportunity to communicate with your team and family members about what kind of pressures you’re anticipating coming up so you can ask for whatever support you might need.   

#2 – Look at what parts of your daily routine you want to keep or change as you move into fall.

What have been the parts of your daily life that you’ve enjoyed the most this summer? How can you carry those into your routines for fall? And, what parts of your day have been the most challenging during this summer? Have there been recurring  experiences in your life this summer that you want to avoid as you move into fall? 

#3 – Build extra flexibility into your daily, weekly and monthly plans for late August and early September.

Knowing that time management is going to be extra difficult during this period and that there are a lot of kinks that might need to be worked out as things shift, build some blocks of unstructured time into your daily plans. If clients need extra support from you, or you need time to sort out problems with a kid’s school, or whatever else comes up, you won’t have to pull time away from other important tasks.  

Need more support with time management and productivity this fall? 

Don’t let your time management challenges hold you back again this fall. Join me starting September 5th for Time Matters Boot Camp 90-day program to set yourself up for the kind of fall you crave. In the boot camp, I’m going to hold your hand and teach you how to use the productivity skills that work for your brain, no matter how busy life gets for you and your clients in Q4 this year. Let’s schedule a one-on-one talk so we can determine if boot camp is the right fit for you right now.

Click here for more information and to schedule a call with me.

Enjoy what’s left of summer before a great new fall begins! 


Sarah Reiff-Hekking