I love this time of year, fresh mornings with a frosty hint of autumn, children back to school in too-big uniforms and shiny shoes, and a chance to reflect on the year so far with a view to what it’s important for you to achieve in the final quarter.
For us it’s the start of a series of newfound family traditions, as we move from the freedom of summer into the rituals of autumn. The first of these is a visit to St Giles’ Fair in Oxford, where this sober and massively wide street is transformed into a noisy colourful funfair for a couple of days a year, big modern rides almost hitting the old college buildings and the martyrs unmoving on their memorial watching over the candy floss stalls.
With the children back in school, if you have had a break or wound down over the summer, now is as good as January’s new year to review priorities and refocus your business goals.
If you do have have school-age children, it is almost certain there are things that have slipped over the summer and that have slid down your to do list; in our house we have had a busy social summer, so it hasn’t been possible to complete all the things I was hoping to work-wise; I am now looking to re-prioritise and make visible progress through the rest of the year as we slide into the fun of hallowe’en and bonfire night and the renewed mayhem of Christmas.
To do this I will be telling myself to procrastinate less and to categorise my goals into urgent, important and less-important tasks, as quite often the less-important tasks are what take up the time and make for the biggest distraction. Setting up new habits and tracking their success can lead to achieving more as you don’t fall back into previous time-wasting traps.
For me I will be mapping out how to spend my new working week hours, fitted around changes to childcare and children’s timetables with the new term; I will be prioritising my tasks against changing business goals; and I will be spending less time on the things I know are general time-eaters, making some big quick wins along the way.
What changes will you be making to your calendar with the new school year? Are there ways that you can aim to be more effective and more efficient? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.