Posts tagged BACK TO SCHOOL
SEPTEMBER SWITCH-UP

Although the balmy temperatures we’re currently experiencing in London make it hard to believe we’re actually heading into Autumn, as I wrote last week this time of year always feels like the perfect time to make a few changes and get back on track, work-wise. With that in mind, here are four simple ways to prepare yourself for your autumn rentrée.

 

SET SOME CAREER GOALS

In the market for a new job? Recruitment season tends to pick up again after the end of summer, so dust off your CV if you’ve got your mind set on greener pastures. Likewise if it’s a payrise or promotion you’re after – start laying the groundwork now. Getting a payrise or promotion isn’t something that happens overnight – to make that jump, you need to be putting in a consistent effort over time. Take five minutes today to figure out what sort of contributions you need to be making and what achievements you need under your belt to make that happen, then make sure you’re ticking the right boxes (and exceeding expectations) over the months ahead. Why now? Well, when it comes to asking for payrises, timing is everything – and January is statistically the top month for payrises (most companies operate on the calendar year, and have a fresh budget to allocate). So putting in the legwork over the next 4 – 5 months means come January, you’ll be in a great position to make your case.

 

REVAMP YOUR WORKSPACE

Whether it’s a question of cleaning out your desk, upgrading your workspace with some new stationery, or finding a new workspace altogether – now’s the time to declutter, re-organise, and generally re-evaluate how your work environment is impacting your day-to-day productivity. Take the time to make the small changes that make your workspace a more pleasant and productive place to be, and free up thinking space for the important stuff.

 

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

If you’ve been putting off checking your bank balance after a summer of unfettered indulgence (guilty), there’s no time like the present to do a quick recce of your finances, and start getting your affairs in order. Don’t put pressure on yourself to tackle it all at once – pick one thing you’ve been putting off, whether it’s cancelling that subscription you never use, or finally filing your wretched expenses (nul points for guessing what I’ve been avoiding), and resolve to complete it by the end of this week. Recently, I’ve been using new banking service Monzo to try and help me get my day-to-day spending in check – it comes with a helpful app that alerts you to your spending in real time and breaks down your spending by category, making keeping track of where your money’s going as easy as scrolling through Instagram.

 

GET INSPIRED

One of the best things about autumn is the fresh crop of arts and culture events that seem to spring up all over the place – there’s a deluge of new films, exhibitions, and cultural goings-on happening over the coming weeks and months. I plan on paying a visit to the London Design Festival next week to check out the best of London’s design scene (handy list of highlights here). If your brain is in a state of atrophy after one too many Aperol spritzes, taking in new creative work is the best way of blowing out the cobwebs and getting your creative juices flowing again.

 

Happy Monday!

TOOLS OF THE TRADE
 
 

Sticking with last week's 'Back To School' theme today, because nothing says 'fresh start' like stocking up on new stationery - I could happily while away a few hours picking out new notebooks and pens. On a practical level, I find that having pretty stationery also helps boost my productivity - I'm far more inclined to sit down at my desk when it's looking stylish and well-organised, and kitting myself out with nice stationery can help make even the most tedious of tasks that little bit less painful. Here's where to go the next time your supplies are running low.

 

COS X HAY

What happens when two brands known for their understated Scandi aesthetics team up? You get this: a collaboration full of sleek design classics, in colourways to suit every palette. The whole collection is brilliant, but I’m a particularly big fan of these golden gilt-edged notebooks (£5) which I have in pink and light grey – they're perfect for injecting a little luxury into your desk setup.

Available at selected COS stores and online.

 

MUJI

The don dada of simple staples, it's not hard to see the Japanese influences in Muji's exhaustive range of minimal stationery. Get yourself organised with their vast range of storage solutions.

Available in-store and online.

 

SMYTHSON

Smythson stationery isn't exactly cheap, but I love their leather-bound Panama notebooks (£45), which are - comparatively - more affordable. These pocket-sized beauties are perfect for carrying around in your handbag so you can jot down ideas whenever they come to you. If you’re feeling particularly fancy you can get your initials embossed on the front in gold (very worth it).

Smythson of Bond Street

40 New Bond Street

London

W1S 2DE

 

PRESENT & CORRECT

This carefully arranged stationery shop in Clerkenwell sells a cool mix of new and vintage stationery, and retro influences abound. You're never too old for a pencil case I say, especially not one as chic as this vinyl Quitterie number (£14). Check out their beautifully styled Instagram for more desktop inspiration.

Present & Correct

23 Arlington Way

London

EC1R 1UY

 

CHOOSING KEEPING

This cute Columbia Road shop is full of goodies, including this pretty little Koi Fish Celluloid Pen Tray (£35). Perfect for collecting all the various tchotchkes that tend to accumulate on your desk, it also comes in an equally pretty tortoiseshell colourway.

Choosing Keeping

128 Columbia Road

London

E2 7RG

BEGINNINGS, ENDINGS, AND THE PROMISE OF A BLANK PAGE
 

So – September is upon us, which means it’s officially the end of summer, and the end of the slow summer days and hazy nights we’d all started getting used to. Despite no longer being at school, like many people I’m hard-wired to associate the month of September with fresh starts and new beginnings. I always get a little surge of motivation at this time of year, and a burst of excitement at what feels like a blank slate full of endless possibilities.

Back To School Women Who

Sure, I’m sad to see the end of summer – but there’s also a not-so-small part of me that’s really looking forward to the weeks and months ahead. The heat and humidity of summer tends to make my brain work more slowly than usual, and I feel like I spend most of my energy during the summer months just trying to stay cool. As the weather cools down, I find that I have more energy and find it easier to actually just think – and I’m looking forward to channelling that extra energy and clarity of thought into ideas and projects that have been floating around on the periphery of my to-do list all summer. Plus, my ‘new term’ ritual of buying new stationery and work supplies every September makes saying goodbye to summer a little bit sweeter (and hey, if you want to stretch your definition of ‘work supplies’ to justify buying yourself some new clothes, you’ll find no judgement here).

So, I’ve sharpened my pencils and decluttered my desk; bought myself a fresh Moleskine and set myself a few goals. Is there anything that can top the promise and potential of a blank page?

I’m not sure there is.