School is in session. All those glorious summer vacations have come to an end. The days are getting shorter.
And most companies and organizations (consciously or unconsciously) view the time from now until Thanksgiving as the last remaining productive days of 2021.
The post-Labor Day fall sprint has begun.
As this sprint begins, we think it's worth remembering one of the most essential principles of managing energy. It's an idea that comes from Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, the idea of oscillating between energy expenditure (sprint) and energy renewal (recovery).
And it makes sense. If all you and your partner do this fall is sprint, the results are predictable. You'll hobble into Thanksgiving Day feeling burned out, overwhelmed, and exhausted. And, chances are, you'll end up taking out all that stress on each other.
If, however, you inject some energy renewal into your fall, you're likely to not only get more done but to also stay more connected and have more fun together.
So how can you sprint and recover together this fall?
In The 80/80 Marriage, we talk about three types of connection rituals: micro, medium, and macro habits. The first way to add periods of recovery to the fall is to take The Daily Break together -- to build at least one micro-habit of energy renewal and connection into your day.
This might be walking around the block before dinner, watching your favorite show together, or recapping your day in bed before you fall asleep.
These micro-habits serve two functions. First, they allow you and your partner to slow down and take a short break from the sprint of life.
Second, they build connection. These brief moments together give you the space to share what's really going on with your partner. And the deeper this connection grows, the less time you'll spend on energy-draining conflict and drama.
Short daily micro-habits of connection are essential. But so are the medium-sized habits of spending longer periods of time together each week.
This might look like the now cliche "Date Night." Or it might look like a long hike or bike ride together. Or maybe you like to fish together or see live music or play golf or visit an art museum together.
The point is that you don't have to do dinner and a movie to experience the power of these weekly moments of connection. You can get creative with how you and your partner experience The Weekly Connection.
Now for our most radical suggestion: carve out an entire day or perhaps even an entire weekend for energy renewal and connection.
For many couples, especially those with kids, this sounds about as realistic as traveling to space alongside Jeff Bezos. But see if you can arrange the logistics so that you have at least one extended block of time together this fall.
Go out of town to see the fall colors. Spend a night at a cool hotel in your home town. Sleep in late. Order room service. Get massages. Have sex.
Give yourselves the gift of an entire day this fall reserved for rest, fun, and connection.