I like to think of seasons in two ways. There are the weather seasons, that help us distinguish between snow, sun and rain. Then there are the work seasons… The difference between vacation time (Summer), head-down focus (Fall and Spring), and breather time (Winter holidays).
With August 31st past, we have a transition of work seasons. Casual Fridays are no more, the kids are back in school and the expectations at the office increase. Many of you will be preparing for the year's end, which means trying to catch up on the business goals you let slip over the last 8 months.
Here are 3 tips to start September right so your Fall isn’t so frustrating:
Set a Life Goal
As you approach the Fall season, look at your life and ask yourself “What needs to change?” Pick one thing that you want to change in your life over the next 3-4 months. It could be about improving your relationship with your spouse or children. It could be something related to improving your health.
Grounding your time in something that is meaningful and important to you personally will help you put the rest of your work and to-do list in perspective. It will help you prioritize. It will make things less overwhelming.
Create an A, B and C list
My husband knows, like nobody else, that I live my life by lists. I’ve got 'A' lists, 'B' lists, Honey-do lists, Shopping lists… If it can be listed, it’s on a list.
Start with your full to-do list. Sit down for 30 minutes and list out everything you are expected to do, everything you want to do, and everything you must do. Then apply priority as follows:
- Put an 'A' beside no more than 1/5 of the items on the list. 'A' items represent the things that are most important. Either they must get done because it is essential to your business, or it is a direct activity that will help you achieve your Life Goal.
- Put a 'B' beside the things that need to happen next. These are the things you can’t put off for very long.
- Put a 'C' beside the things that nobody is waiting for (or if they are waiting, they aren’t likely to ask you about… they are that unimportant)
Now work on your A's with a vengeance. When completed, re-prioritize your B's and work on those.
Finally, look back on your summer and take stock of what you achieved. Sometimes we feel like summer flew by and we didn’t get done what we wanted. Other times we feel like we got bombarded and sacrificed a lot along the way.
In reality, you accomplished a lot no matter how you currently feel about it. You just have to look at your life holistically to see where exactly that accomplishment happened. A few places you are unlikely to look into on your own are:
- Rest - did you confuse laziness for relaxation and rest? Maybe you accomplished a lot of rest.
- Friends - did you confuse alone time for neglect? Maybe you couldn’t spend more time with your friends because your spirit really needed you to connect with yourself.
- Money - do you feel guilty about how much you spent on a new wardrobe or redecorating your house? Maybe you spent exactly what you needed to create the physical environment that will fill you with the energy you need to be successful.
With these 3 tips, you’re sure to set a new record for success this Fall.