As the hot, lazy summer days wind down, it’s time (sorry!) to slide back into a routine. We thought this article from Inc. Magazine might be helpful to help you re-energize, personally and professionally.
Remember that back-to-school feeling? A little apprehension, a touch of excitement and even a bit of relief that a summer that was starting to get a bit boring was coming to an end. Whatever the academic merits of the traditional American school calendar, it does serve to break up the year and offers a period to refresh, re-experience boredom (and by doing so remind yourself of the benefits of work) and reflect to prepare for a fresh push of activity.
Most of us with far more meager vacation allowances have no such luck. Sure, parents may be caught up in their kid’s back-to-school preparations, but is there a way to capitalize on the rhythm of the school year and recapture a bit of that back-to-school bump in energy?
A Shiny New Pencil Box?
One way, according to author Pamela Slim is to follow in the footsteps of five-year-olds and take advantage of the excitement of new supplies. Just like a trip to pick up new binders, colorful highlighters and crisp, untouched loose-leaf paper sparks the imagination and enthusiasm of students, adults can create a bit of fresh start at work simply by investing in simple but satisfying changes to their workspace or supply cabinet.
Hang a new picture, add a few potted plants, indulge in that fancy coffee machine or break down and finally buy that cool new tablet you’ve been eyeing. It might make a little dent in the budget, but it can do wonders for your productivity, mentally marking the end of one period, hitting a sort of reset button, and giving you a clean start for the busy fall period.
Buying new stuff may seem like a shallow way to reset your mentality but look back on years of back-to-school shopping and you’ll see that paired with a bit of reflection on the value of the work ahead and the limits of leisure, it can be a surprisingly effective ritual.
The Cold-Hard Cash Approach
If it’s less of a boost to your energy levels you need and more of a boost to your revenues, then back-to-school offers other opportunities. Sure, if you’re in the backpack or notebook business, you’re going to do bumper sales in August and September, but even if your company has nothing directly to do with back to school, the new academic year and the impulse for a new beginning it brings may be leveraged for marketing purposes.
According to small business expert Barry Moltz of the Shafran Moltz Group, “If your business does not directly provide products for this industry, tie content marketing and promotions to some type of ‘higher education’ or ‘fresh start’ for the consumer.” For example, this could be learning new skills or new ways of solving problems. What service or product does your business provide that potential clients should know about this season? According to Moltz, “Any marketing promotion can become relevant by using the traditional grading system like ‘an A+ deal.’ Content marketing with targeted landing pages can also be used by your company so buyers searching for back-to-school keywords will find your content.” (And don’t forget about the start of the football season and all of the potential tie-ins there!)