The start of September often brings mixed feelings. The relaxed days of summer are gone and there is a chill in the air (especially here in the Northeast US). Fall is a beautiful season but, if you are like me, you are painfully aware that it will be a long ten months until it is outdoor swim season again.

While you might not always be conscious of it, September brings with it, three great productivity boosts which I like to think of as "The September Effect."

1. Revise


With August over, you have completed two thirds of the year. Now is a great time to re-assess your goals for the year.

Are you on track? If not, now is a great time to revise your plans. With four months remaining, there is plenty of opportunity to make great strides and accomplish your goals by year-end.

2. Renew

Hopefully, you have had some time to relax and refresh over the past few months. Most workplaces enjoy a less hectic schedule during the summer months; perhaps you were fortunate enough to take a vacation or enjoy a few long weekends.


I have discussed the concept of daily decision fatigue in prior posts. It's the idea that you make so many decisions each day that by late afternoon your brain is tired and you become less effective with challenging, deep work.

Creating systems and routines (like the same breakfast each day or wearing a typical work outfit that doesn't require much thought) helps to reduce this fatigue.

If your work is less harried and intense over the summer months, it offers a similar respite on a larger scale, leaving you renewed to hit the ground running in September.

3. Refocus


September conjures up images of yellow school busses and crossing guards as the academic year gets underway. It subconsciously triggers your brain to get back into focus mode, the same way it did for those many years you attended school.

To really 'seal the deal' of sending this refocusing message to your brain, why not buy yourself a few new school/office supplies?

Back-to-school season helps you remember that this is the time to be intent in your work and finish the calendar year strong.

For those who celebrate the Jewish holidays, I'd like to wish you a happy and healthy new year.

A new start is always an opportunity to set goals and resolutions...or simply an intention to acquire a few new good habits.


If you experience other productivity boosts from The September Effect, please share in the comments below.

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