Labor Day marks the end of the summer and the return to normal workplace routines. As we’ve discussed in past articles, even for those of us who work all summer, vacation schedules, relaxed work hours, and summer dress codes often make the summer seem different from the rest of the year. Working in an academic environment, Labor Day has the added weight of marking the beginning of the new school year. It brings a new crop of students and co-workers and a sense of renewal and possibility.
Getting out of the normal routines can be very positive for all of us, both personally and professionally but so can getting back into those routines. Sometimes, getting back into those routines can be as refreshing as forgoing them over the summer. Routines are comforting and can make the work hours pass more quickly in a more enjoyable way. This is an ideal opportunity to look at some of your routines and decide whether they are working for you. Maybe you’d like to start a new routine like biking to work a couple of times a week or creating a schedule to check your email or log your hours more frequently so it doesn’t become an overwhelming task. Try implementing these things now and the chance of sticking with them is much improved.
In a bigger picture sense, September is also a great time to start thinking about goals and next steps. You might want to think about making September resolutions instead of or in addition to New Year’s resolutions. These can be personal goals or something your whole workplace can engage in. For example, a friend works in an office that is very close knit, for better or for worse, who decided this September to use more positive language when talking about each other and their clients. Another friend has decided that this fall will be the time when she figures out her long range career plans and run her first marathon.
What will this fall bring for you? What are you doing to get back into the swing of things?