It may be years, even decades, since September last meant the return to education for you, but given that the formative years of our life revolve around this month being a sign of new beginnings it’s no wonder we hold onto that Back to School feeling well into adulthood.
Recently I asked generally to a few people when you stop thinking of September as the moment to buy new stationery, make brilliant plans and aspire to be a whole new version of yourself and the resounding response, across multiple generations, was that you probably won’t lose that feeling. So, since we’re stuck with this reaction, why not make the most of it? I’ve collated 10 ways we can really utilise that ‘back to school’ feeling as adults, to maximise our productivity and success for the academic year ahead.
Stationery Stock Up
We might not have the budget for a whole new set of stationery every September, but maybe treating yourself to a new notebook in one of the back to school sales, or some fancy new pens might be the ideal way to keep your motivation going throughout the darker and colder months ahead.
Whilst you’re topping up your stationery stash, it’s also worth going through all your pens and seeing which don’t work any more. I know for sure that you’ve got some highlighters knocking around whose best days were pre-2012. Just get rid fo them. Recycle them if at all possible, and if you need to replace them then take a little time over it if you can, find the products best suited to you and to the environment. It’s worth it in the long run!
During Covid-19 we have all been trying to limit our time in spaces like supermarkets and other shops. Therefore, we have had to become pretty hot at meal planning. I always associate September with planning ahead for meals as I remember nagging my Dad at 7am every day, “What’s for dinner today? What’s for dinner tomorrow?”. I liked having something to look forward to!
Utilising the fact that your trips to the supermarket are few and far between these days, why not plan a few meals in advance? This has so many benefits that I’m sure you’re well aware of but they’re worth repeating!
- You only buy what you need so you save money and food waste.
- If you have a little extra time one day you can prep food for the next couple of days.
- You know what you’re having so it’s easier to resist the temptation to go for something quick and probably unhealthy.
Bag Clear Out
Okay, can you be honest with me? Is your handbag or laptop bag or gym rucksack beautifully clean? Are there no crumpled receipts, slightly grotty flaking tissues, crumbs from a granola bar or maybe a lone tic tac just drifting around inside the lining? If you can promise me that you have none of these things then you are a hero and well done. However, if you’re like me and your bag gets neglected and becomes a bit of a dumping ground then take this new school year moment to empty it out, clean it up and make it fresh and lovely. This is especially important at the moment whilst we are trying to keep our hygiene levels tip top and are carrying face coverings around with us everywhere. If you do struggle with a messy bag, have a look at bag organisers. You can pick these up for pretty cheap in most places, but they’re also fairly simple to make yourself. The benefit of going DIY is that you can customised the organsier to the exact dimensions of your bag. Voila! No more lost keys or rogue old train tickets.
Set That Alarm
During lockdown in particular, a lot of people who found themselves either out of work or working from home understandably drifted back into a student-esque sleep pattern. Now, you really can’t blame people for reacting like that during a global pandemic. However, umpteen months later we are still in the midst of this and that 8.55am alarm might have been perfect at first, but now you fancy making the most of your mornings. So, let’s get back into the habit of being morning people!
The first thing, the most obvious thing, to do is set your alarm for your desired wake up time and hope for the best. If you’re lucky, then that’s all you need to do! However, for most of us this requires a little more work. As a staunch late-sleeper for years it took me a few months to really train myself into being a morning person and I’m refusing to let it go!
Make A Reading List
I know this isn’t one for everyone, but I used to really love being given a reading list at the start of the school year. It felt like such a goal to finish every single one of the suggested titles and I like to sometimes do this as an adult. I pick some books to finish over the next ‘term’ (i.e. before Christmas) that I either have always wanted to read but never got round to, or are ones that I know are coming out and I’m desperate to get my hands on.
Keep an eye on my Pinterest where I’ll be posting my Autumn 2020 Reading List very soon!
Start A Journal
Whether you’ve been tempted by the beauty of bullet journalling for a while, or you want to restart that wordy old secondary school journal you used to love confessing your secrets to, September is a great time to start journalling. There’s none of the pressure of that 1 January date, it’s just a perfect moment to get your thoughts and ideas down onto a page. Then, who knows, you might end up being able to turn some of those ideas into a reality over the coming months!
I love to dig out old half used notebooks for journals, or even grab a really cheap one from Poundland (there’s something about the crinkle of cheap paper that I can’t resist). Get writing!
Plan Your Days
If lockdown taught me anything, it’s that routine and daily goals are important for me. I found getting into the habit of writing out my goals for the day (everything from ‘change sheets’ to ‘change the world’) kept me on track and stopped me falling into a bit of a glum slump.
Whether you like to use a whiteboard on your fridge, a scrap of paper or have a designated notebook, I am fully on board with people planning out their days in the way that suits them best. Do you just like a To Do list that you can tick off, are you on board with Mrs Hinch’s ‘tadaah’ lists, or do you (like me) need to split your day into chunks of time and assign tasks to each chunk?