I love autumn. When you ask people their favourite time of year, they’ll often go for summer or Christmas, but I like to think that us ‘fall fans’ belong to a rather select group who see its subtle beauty.

The colours are gorgeous as the trees change, leaving a fabulously crunchy carpet to swish through and shiny conkers for my little people to add to their collection. Who doesn’t love the smell of bonfires and crisp mornings?

For me, it also inspires me to be a bit more reflective than usual; to stop and take stock, much like those busy squirrels. It somehow feels like a fitting time to look back at the year so far, at what’s been, but also to look forward to the promise of twinkly festive cosiness.

I’ve noticed that this is often the time of year when I make the best plans and take the most exciting decisions – the ones that really drive you forward. Unsurprisingly, these choices have been made following that thinking process: stop; take stock; reflect; look forward.

How often do we actively make time to do that?

The other day a colleague, Tim, and I were talking about how in a Wi-Fi-driven world it’s easy to get sucked into our phones, tablets, box-sets, etc. and to never unplug ourselves. He was telling me how he’d once met the late Sir John Harvey-Jones MBE, and asked him a really good question: ‘if you could give me just one piece of advice in business, what would it be?’ Sir John’s reply: ‘Make sure you spend at least one hour a week, on your own, doing nothing other than looking out of your window – it’s when you’ll do your very best thinking.’

I doubt John Keats would have written ‘Ode to Autumn’ if he hadn’t thought similarly.

Here’s this month’s call to action:

  • How can you find ways to develop reflective habits? Switch off the gadgets for a bit! And yes, I’m fully aware of the irony of where you’re reading this…
  • What flash of inspiration will you get from looking out of your window? What plans could unfold? What decisions are made? We’d love to hear!