September; a month for getting the kids back to school, watching the leaves turn brown, and dreaming of those long, hot summer days. If you've been on holiday, you'll have suffered with those back to work blues. And if you've not, it probably feels like literally everyone else has been away - the office has been quieter, clients are harder to get hold of, and rush hour traffic has been a dream!
There's definitely a shift in productivity come September, as the back to school mentality grips the nation - so make like the school kids / teachers and give yourself a fresh start this month!
Set new goals.
Just as a teacher will have planned out their class' development over the next school term, September is as good a time as any to think about where you see yourself and your career in the next three, six or nine months' time. Maybe you're looking to win a new piece of contract, gain a promotion this year, or to have learnt a new skill you can implement into your work.
Have a good old tidy up.
As the saying goes, a tidy space equals a tidy mind. Just like you'd organise your pencil case, books and school bag before the start of term, make sure you do the same with your desk and work space. We've all heard of a spring clean, but an autumn clean makes just as much sense. It's worth taking a few minutes out of your day to sort out that pile of papers that's been stacking up over the summer or to declutter your inbox - you'll find it makes you much more productive in the long run and more enthused to tackle that to-do list.
Do something different.
Just as you might have joined the school netball team, drama club or took on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards during your childhood, September is the perfect time to take up a new hobby. Perhaps there's a lunchtime gym class you've been meaning to try, an after-work workshop to get stuck into or a new project you've not given yourself the time to start. Your new hobby doesn't have to be work related either - anything that simulates your brain outside of work will have a knock-on impact on your productivity and mental health during working hours.
Make a fresh start.
Did you ever go back to school in September with a cool new hair style or the latest pair of football boots? Just as the summer holidays gives young people a chance to reinvent themselves, you can do the same! Ditch any baggage or commitments you no longer want to have or be a part of - and do what you want to do! If you're a teacher, this annual 'fresh start' will come naturally to you. If not (and you haven't had the luxury of six weeks off this summer) make sure it becomes a habit you utilise year on year.
Ultimately, the best way to beat those back to work blues is by working in a place that inspires you, with people who support what you're doing. If you've tried all (or at least some) of the ideas above and you're still not happy at work, perhaps it's time to think about a new job. (And we can help with that - just click here