If you are like me, summer went by in a big hurry. Whether you had time away at the cottage, camping in the mountains or just hanging out at home with the family, there’s no doubt that summer flies by. When the cooler mornings start happening, my mind always turns to fall and everything that comes with it. Back to school shopping, homework, making lunches and ultimately, my mind turns to work. More specifically, it turns to staying organized when it comes to work.

Whether it’s budgeting, workforce planning, succession planning or projects that were put off to September, fall is a very busy time of year. So, how do you navigate from the lazy, hazy days of summer to the energy-filled, deadline-driven, fast-paced environment that fall brings?

Tips for Staying Organized

Here are some tips for staying organized you won’t want to miss!

Take Care of Yourself

I know that we hear it all the time but you can’t be your best self at home or at work if you aren’t getting enough sleep, eating properly, and finding time to exercise. Make your number one priority for the fall taking care of YOU!

Heck, why not start now?

(Another thing you can start now is the goal-setting process for a new year! Who says you have to wait until January? Here’s how to set yourself up for a positive year)

Get Organized Early

Lists are one of the key tools that I use to get things done. I’m pretty sure that I would accomplish nothing if I didn’t make a list. Make two lists – one for home and one for work. Check things off as tasks get completed. I know, I know . . . this is old news. But the funny thing is – lists really do work!

List all the work projects and other work items that must be done between now and the end of the year and assign completion dates to them. Set aside 5 or 10 minutes to update your list every day. This will help you keep track of everything that needs to be done and will assist you in prioritizing your work.

(Fall can also be a great time for a talent assessment. Here’s how to determine if your employees are assets or liabilities)

Create a Project Plan

If you are leading projects, you will need to assign resources, timelines and budgets. Project plans do not need to be complex documents created in software that no one knows how to use. Excel is a fantastic tool for creating an easy-to-follow project plan that tracks deliverables.

(Don’t miss this post before you go: CEOs, You’re Likely the Reason Your Organizational Culture Sucks)

Bring Others Along with You On Your Journey to Staying Organized

Projects do not get done on their own. Once you have built a draft project plan, meet with all your stakeholders to get everyone’s input. Make sure you are open to feedback and remember that these projects are on top of the full-time jobs that everyone has, including you. Meet regularly to review the project plan and catch any issues early.

Make sure to explore:

  • Does anyone have planned time off in the fall? How will you meet timelines if someone critical to the project is away for a week or two?
  • What other work/projects do people have that might compete for time or resources?
  • What else is happening in the business or the organization that might get in the way?
  • How do you make the best use of leaders’ time while workforce planning and succession planning?
  • How do you make sure that the team is consistent in gathering the right information from the business the first time?


The key to success is early planning, keeping stakeholders (including your business leaders) informed and engaged and doing what you say you are going to do. Delivering solid results is not rocket science. The trick to staying organized is making sure you have a plan. Then work the plan and deliver!

Interested in learning more about how we can help you with your fall projects? Check us out at ACTivate HR.

Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn!

Did you learn a lot about staying organized in this post?

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This post was first published in 2017 but it was updated in 2021 just for you.