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As the start of the academic year rolls around every September, it’s the perfect opportunity for parents everywhere to remind their children to get organized before classes begin. From ensuring that backpacks are filled with the proper materials to reviewing and finalizing class schedules, the month of September has always marked the end of the lazy days of summer and a return to a more structured lifestyle of classes, extracurriculars and homework.

While this time of year is normally when parents are harping on their sons and daughters to get organized before the class bell rings on the first day, in many cases these very same parental directives prove to be timeless pieces of advice that apply to everyone in the family, not just those of us heading back into the world of academia.

Because no one is particularly good at taking their own advice, here are a few back to school messages that all of us would benefit from hearing a few times this September:

Go to bed earlier

The best way to start any day is after a full nights sleep. It’s much easier to enforce this rule than it is to follow yourself, but if you can get into the habit of getting at least eight hours of sleep every night you will be a happier, healthier person. Challenge yourself to getting at least one more hour of sleep every night and these habits will translate into a more productive and efficient fall season.

Finish summer projects

Whether it was a book report on The Great Gatsby or a few projects you’d been meaning to finish around the house, September is the month to wrap up anything you set out to accomplish over the summer. Don’t start your fall on the wrong foot; get organized by checking those last few things off your to-do list now.

Revaluate your goals

Even though many of us are no longer working towards getting into the college of our dreams, setting short term and long-term goals to work towards is vital for people of all ages. Take some time to assess your career and life goals this September and then make this reevaluation an annual occurrence.

Organize your calendar

By far the quickest and easiest way to get organized is to keep a clean and up-to-date calendar. No matter how hard we try to stay on top of them, inevitably our calendars get away from all of us at some point during the year. Use the purchase of your son or daughter’s new assignment notebook as an excuse to splurge on a nice, new calendar for yourself.

Reconnect with old friends

One of the best things about returning to school in the fall is getting to see your friends again. But a return to school shouldn’t be the only reason to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in several months. Enjoy the remaining days of summer by hosting a cookout or pool party for anyone you haven’t seen in some time. There’s no better way to spend September evenings than with close friends you haven’t seen in a while!

What other pieces of advice are you giving your son or daughter this back to school season that we could all use to get organized this fall?