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The thrill of the new pencil case

The thrill of the new pencil case

Nicola Hopes

5 September 2023

So, as you reflect on your summer – what comes to mind?

Did you craft that stillness and space in your diary to create ideas? Did you get away to from the UK rain?

But how can you get a lasting benefit from that summer break every day? (Without a lazy breakfast or a poolside pina colada at 11 am – well you’re on holiday!).

Whatever you need to achieve between now and Christmas, you can channel that September ‘back to school’ feeling to make it more possible.

Cast your mind back to the 1st day of your new school term in September.  Perhaps you were lucky enough to have a brand new pencil case and pristine coloured pencils; a white shirt not yet stained with ink; a brand-new backpack?

And the feeling? Perhaps a mix of anxious nerves and possibility?

And it’s that possibility I want to tap into for you to set up some new habits.

With any change of season or fresh start, you have the opportunity to reset. To create new ways of working that make a positive difference to how you feel and how effective you are.

And the beauty is, you probably already know what you want to change.


So, make this season count and use this opportunity to make that change once and for all.

Have a think about what bugs or frustrates you about your working week.

  • Working patterns: do you want to plan better to achieve more earlier in the week rather than have a Friday scramble to get stuff finished?
  • Energy levels: does your energy sag in the morning or the afternoon and you’d like to change your diary, exercise or eating habits to be more productive through the day?
  • Time to think: do you want more space in the diary to plan or think?
  • Team creativity: do you want to shake up your team meetings or 121s to get more out of them and to be more creative or ideas focussed?
  • Future trends: do you want to look forward more, to make the time to attend more industry events or research new thinking?

Whatever your answer, write down one or two steps you can take to achieve that change in your week. Don’t try for too many at once or you risk overwhelm.

Then think about how you’ll track it. Who or what will keep you accountable for making that change until it becomes a new habit? Gretchen Rubin – bestselling author, podcaster and speaker – has developed 21 strategies for new habit formation. You can read more about them and download them from her website here.

Only you can make this happen. So, channel your ‘new pencil case’ vibe and see what you can achieve with a reset and a new positive habit.

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