There's something about transitioning into fall that causes your mindset to shift from careless summer days, to what's left to accomplish in the year. My ‘something,' is my annual, mid September internal dialogue that goes a little like this:
“I can’t believe summer is over, I feel like it was just June. I’m going to miss the beach, and bonfires, and cold pinot gris. I mean, I guess I do love fall fashion...all the gloves and scarves forged in the fires of Anthropologie. Plus I can get caramel sauce on pretty much anything without all the judgement. I wonder if my friends are going to dress up for Halloween? Wow it's basically November, I should check the tread on my tires in case we get snow soon. That means December is right around the corner...which means I only have a couple more weeks left to accomplish what I set out to at the beginning of the year. What the heck have I been doing all summer?!” And then I call my Mom. Just kidding. But really.
Getting back into your groove is essentially refocusing or resetting your goals after a summer of whimsy. And this groove can involve a multitude of things such as:
- Breaking your quarterly financial record at work
- Spending more quality one on one time with your kids
- Date night once a week with your significant other
- Cooking at home 6 nights a week
- Reading two books a month
- Learning a new trade
- Taking more time for yourself
- Seeing or calling at least one friend a week to catch up
One of my favourite ways to tackle the smaller goals, is by multi-tasking. Now, accepting the fact that the mind can only do one fundamental task at a time is hard for some of us self-proclaimed ‘multi-tasking gurus.’ You think you've figured it all out, only to find that science has proven that you're just doing several things poorly. However, what you can do, quite effectively, is called “task switching.” This would be anything that includes a physical task that you’re already good at, while doing a mental task. These are typically low level tasks that requires minimal attention, and are usually things you already need to do, that you can pair with things you want to do. Examples of this would be:
- Cleaning your house while listening to a podcast
- Working out while watching your favourite show
- Mending a blouse while you chat on the phone with an old friend
- Pulling pages from magazines for your mood board while you’re on the bus home from work
Now in my opinion, the most underutilised time you could be spending doing something you want or need to do, is during the aforementioned daily commute. More examples of using this free time would be if you take the bus or train, you could read a book or use the time to journal. If you drive, listen to a podcast, or an audio book. I’m currently learning Spanish on my commute. I can now say “learn to drive,” in two languages.
Next, people talk about body cleanses like there’s no tomorrow, but what about apartment cleanses? Clutter drains your energy. At the end of summer, I long for the days where I wasn’t accidentally knocking over half empty bottles of sunscreen while reaching for something on my vanity. Now is the perfect time to put on some wireless headphones, and blast your favourite music in the tune of you getting your place back in order. Clean home, clear mind.
Lay out your clothes for the next day. This is such an old-fashioned trick, but it’s because it really works. I didn't start doing this until this year, and I still laugh about it while I’m getting dressed peacefully every morning. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, "if I could just find 10 more minutes in the day" and you’re not already doing this, you’re welcome, here’s your 10 minutes.
Now let’s talk about skincare real quick. There are people who cannot wait to get into their nightly routine. They wash their face, put on their serum,*tap* *tap* *tap*, apply their night cream, etc…and then there’s me. Hi. I work, live, and breath skincare, but secret time...I don’t like the act of washing my face. For myself, and some others out there, the fact that I have to wash my face at night annoys me. I know, major first world problems. And do not be mistaken, I still wash my face every single night. And every night immediately following said washing of the face, I think “that wasn’t so bad, why am I like this?” But then my brain resets in my sleep and I become that person again the next day. But I’ve figured it out, and some of you have too! Andrea created the double time facial cleanser, and my whole world (before bed) changed. It wasn’t the act of washing my face, it was the act of washing my face multiple times to get my makeup off. I mean, the time, and the amount of product I had to use, ugh, such a waste. But not anymore! Do you know how much more time I have now?! Two whole minutes! Don’t laugh, that’s 12 hours over the course of a year! That’s a lot of time spent splashing water on your face. I digress, if you’re into taking care of your skin, but sometimes you just can’t be bothered, get yourself some products that multitask.
Lastly, it makes it easier to get back into your groove when you can figure out when you're most productive and block that time to tackle tasks that weigh heaviest on your mind. My old friend Mark Twain once said, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." My first thought? Gross, Mark. But His point? Tackle your biggest tasks in the morning. This not only gives you peace of mind, but also sets the momentum for the rest of the day. Plus, if everything else falls apart that day, as it often does, at least you’ve accomplished something!
Whatever your focus is, with the right forethought, and savvy time management, you'll get back in the groove, and be well on your way to accomplishing your goals, quicker than you can write a Pumpkin Spice think piece.