Summer time is over – the beat, mood, and life we adopt and adapt to during summer now needs to change. “How was your summer?” is hardly the number one subject at social gatherings any more. School has started, business life is gaining momentum and everyone is slowly but surely facing reality and settling into a different rhythm. A bit of a shock to the system, let’s admit. To help you reboot, here are 5 tips for a smooth transition.
- Decide on one small change you want to make in your way of living.
Take something from your summer and integrate into your daily life. Think of what you really enjoyed this summer, what you were craving for – something that gave you a lot of energy or peace of mind. Perhaps spending more time with your special friends or family; walks in nature; a sport you tried and want to continue; a journaling or meditation habit. Choose this one special thing and make time and space for it in your life.
- Bring structure into your day
It’s so easy to just jump into things. Life constantly sends us messages and unforeseen emergencies and our tendency is to re-act instead of act. We respond to what is happening. Take emails for instance. It’s so easy to check mails first thing in the morning, but do we really need to? I love Tim Ferris’ suggestion in his book 4 Hour Workweek. His approach is quite drastic (but efficient): put an auto-response stating you will be checking your mails only twice a day (and in case of emergency you can be reached by phone). He makes several suggestions, essentially to bring more structure and efficiency to your day. So, rethink how you are organised.
- Plan your goals – on a monthly, weekly, and maybe even daily basis.
I have started using a tool which allows me to set my monthly and weekly goals. I set my monthly goal or focus and then I define my TOP 3 priorities and the steps I need to take each week. I also specify a deadline for each step and assess whether I need to delegate something or get support. It brings me a sense of calm and of being in control. At the end of the week, I set my priorities for the next week based on the week’s achievements and start enjoying the weekend. During the working week, I regularly check my priorities and my progress.
- Don’t be hard on yourself.
Getting back into a structured rhythm is not easy both physically and mentally. So give yourself the time to own that new rhythm. Don’t beat yourself up for some mistake or lack of action. Rather examine what is going on as maybe you need to rethink your organisation, structure or priorities. Also, sometimes important stuff that needs to be dealt with happens. Accept it. And learn from it.
- Be willing to re-evaluate your life and make the changes necessary.
While you need to bring structure and organisation into your life, you don’t want to live on auto-pilot. Don’t confuse the shock to the system of getting used to the post summer beat with stress and lack of energy due to other factors. These factors could be that you are unhappy in your job, not using your talents and strengths, or that you have been engaged with too many of your energy drainers for too long. Whatever the reason, don’t lose the opportunity to re-examine where you stand and make the most of life. It’s too short for that. Carpe diem!