How to Transition to a Busy Fall from a Lazy Summer

During summer, it’s easy to fall into a more relaxed routine. You might work a little less and play a little more. While it’s certainly nice to take a break from the go-go-go speed of the rest of the year, it can be tough to transition back into a busy season when fall arrives. I often get major whiplash when I have to transition from days spent at the beach with friends and evenings filled with summer concerts and outdoor lounging to the rigid school mornings of the fall semester (I’ve got one kid in elementary and one in preschool) and putting my nose to the grindstone at night to get my freelance work done. Even for those who aren’t in school or chauffeuring kids around, fall tends to ramp up as we prepare for holidays and set our sights on another year coming to a close.

So, how do you set yourself up for success as you dive back into a busy fall after a lazy summer? Think about the transition before the summer ends! Probably not what you want to hear while you’re still kicking back and enjoying your last days of freedom, but trust me, getting back into your regular groove doesn’t have to be an awful process. Plus, you’ll be super glad you took a few small steps to prepare once fall is finally here.

1. Take charge of your schedule

The laid back summer schedule is a thing of beauty, but to be honest, I love planning out a good fall routine. One of the best ways to get ready for a new season is to plot out what your ideal day or week will look like. I often use a time logging app such as Toggl to track my productivity and see where there is room for improvement in my days when I’m getting ready for a busier season. Visualizing how much I can accomplish when I set my schedule up motivates me to use my time wisely.

2. Set some lofty goals

My summer goals usually include things like jumping in a lake or eating from various food trucks. When it’s time to get back to business, however, it helps to set some more serious objectives so I have something to work toward from the get-go. Whether they’re career-focused or school-inspired, having concrete priorities will ease the transition. I’m personally determined to get back on my strict writing schedule, land one new publication a month, and stick to a better house cleaning routine (I’ve been very laid back about housework this summer).

3. Make some new season resolutions

I like to take advantage of every “fresh start” to kickstart new behaviors. Coming out of my carefree summer mode is the perfect time to break some bad habits, whether they’re work-related, money-related, or just general habits I’d like to change (like checking my email too often or staying away from social media when I’m working). Use the new season to your advantage and start fresh.

4. Ease back into your routine

If you’re still not feeling super motivated to get ready for fall, the easiest way to get a jumpstart on a busy season is to start slowly easing back into a more productive routine. Set your alarm a little earlier each day, get to bed on time, and generally move with the pace you’ll need come fall. By slowly reintroducing your body and mind to the demands of the upcoming season, you won’t experience the seasonal jet lag that sometimes occurs when you go from fun-filled summer nights to the task-heavy days of fall and beyond.