It’s the first full week after Labor Day, which means that the lazy days of summer are officially behind us! I’ll be the first to admit that I took full advantage of summer this year. I enjoyed days by the pool with the boys, afternoon movie and snuggle sessions (now that neither of them naps!) and lots of weekend getaways and mini-vacations. I am really loving the boys ages and know how fleeting this time is with them and my only priority was making this a fun family summer!

But now it is back-to-school and back to work and it seems like our social calendars are ramping up as well — when it rains it pours! With a full calendar and even fuller to-do list, we’re welcoming any and all tips for getting back into a productive routine. We wanted to share a few of our favorites with you in case you’re also feeling excited-yet-nervous to hit the ground running! Keep reading to learn 6 ways that we are saying YES to a productive routine this season!

Find a Morning Routine That Works For You

Finding a solid morning routine will make it much easier to stay on track the rest of the day. The key is consistency, so find a routine that works well for you and stick with it! Whether it’s taking time for yourself before school drop off, or squeezing in a morning workout or meditation, do what you need to do in order to have a productive day. With Knox having an earlier drop off this year for kinder, I feel like I have an extra hour in the morning which has been so nice!

House of Harper Coffee Shop Outfit

Start Earlier

During the summer months it’s easy to indulge in morning cartoons and a slower start to your day, but now is the time to quit the habit! With school back in session, work in full swing, and after school/work events piling up on the calendar, it’s necessary to tackle to-do lists earlier in the day. We’re rolling our alarm clocks back and forcing ourselves out of bed just a bit earlier so that we can be as productive as possible. Once daylight savings ends on November 3rd, it will be even easier to wake up because it will be lighter in the morning! 

Block Your Calendar

Instead of letting other people and events fill your calendar for you, proactively block off time for what you need to get done. Whether that’s cleaning out your inbox, organizing your expenses, or meal planning for the week, put it on the calendar! Designating set times to cross off your to-do list will help you jump back into a routine and feel much more organized. I put everything from my errands, carpool, activities and work deadlines in to ensure I have time to tackle them all!

House of Harper Coffee Shop Outfit

Schedule Personal Time to Prevent Burn Out

I know a lot of my summer Laissez-faire approach was also due to burnout. It happens to the best of us if we don’t allow ourselves time to slow down and replenish. After 8 years of blogging and 6 years of being a working mom, I started feeling uninspired. This fall I am scheduling time for the things I use to tell myself I didn’t have time for. My Friday mornings are now ‘me time’ for tennis and coffee with friends. It’s just what I need after a busy week to head into the weekend refreshed and ready to be my best self for our family.

Photo by Kate Zimmerman Turpin for Rigby

Topo Chico Over Vino!

There’s a reason that Whole30 is so popular in September — we’re all drying out from the social activities of summer! During the summer we feel a bit lazier about cooking dinner so we find ourselves going out to eat and enjoying weekday cocktails more than usual. To help us embrace a productive routine, we’re saying no to weeknight wine and substituting it with sparkling water and lime (our favorite is Topo Chico!). Avoiding alcohol during the week also makes it easier to stick to our morning routine and to feel more alert and healthier overall.  

Our Fall Checklist

Take Ownership Over Your Time

The fall is our busiest season, so it’s important to take ownership over our time in order to be productive. Prioritizing tasks, setting goals, saying no to extra activities, and delegating are all helpful ways to get back into a productive routine. We shared more on these time management habits and others last fall — read them here!

How are you jumping back into a productive routine? Please leave your tips in the comments below!