Manners Matter: Fall Productivity

Dear Mary Pat,

I don’t get why everyone loves the fall so much. I think the leaves are pretty and everything, but when they drop off the trees (as they are this week), my spirit drops with them, not to mention my business. I feel a little anxiety as each week brings us closer to winter. Am I the only one who feels this way?


Fall Blues

Jacksonport, Wis.


Dear Fall Blues,

I doubt you’re the only one who feels this way. I just think you need to retrain your brain a little bit and learn not to dread the off-season. Yes, business is slower and yes, there aren’t as many people around. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing though. What if you started seeing the winter as a reward for working hard for the other half of the year? If you own a business, I know you’re racking up a lot of hours in the summer. You’ve essentially worked hours and hours of overtime, and now winter is your paid vacation time. That doesn’t mean you can automatically afford to hire a yacht and sail all around the world, but it does mean you can relax a little and recharge your batteries.

The first thing you can do is make a list. Write down the things that have to be done to close up your business (or if you don’t close entirely, now is a good time to get through some projects you put off during the season). Power through that list as efficiently as you can.

Next, take stock in your summer season. What worked for you? Is there any room for improvement? Hindsight is 20/20, so look to see if there are changes that can be made for the next season that would improve your business.

After you handle most of your business items, start making a list on the things you’d like to do this winter. Some of them should be fun (traveling, taking a class, starting a dinner club with your friends, volunteering your time for charity) and some of them should be more practical (organizing your office, getting into a routine at the gym, deep cleaning your house, etc.). Once you have a plan, it will give you something to look forward to. Winter should not just be a six-month Netflix binge.

If you start looking at the winter as a gift, as a time to regroup and recharge, you hopefully won’t have to dread it anymore.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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