For kids across the country heading back to school, September means new classes, new school supplies, new friends, and (hopefully) a new eagerness to learn. For adults? Well, the fall can seem like... more of the same.

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But what if those in the professional world approached autumn a little more like a child going back to school? Andrew Mellen, organizational expert, speaker, and author of "Unstuff Your Life" says the fall is a great time for adults to channel the same positive, clean-slate approach. “Summer is over, and the days are getting shorter, but instead of that being a drag, there’s an opportunity to focus on the things you really want to get done in the last four months of the year,” Mellen says. So if your “back to school” looks more like “back to the fluorescent lighting of my office cubicle,” keep the following tips in mind:

Refresh your space
Just as students organize their desks and lockers, adults can get in on the decluttering creativity when it comes to their office workspaces. Stacked papers? Messy drawers? Fall is the new spring when it comes to cleaning, so get ready to reorganize and refresh. “Dispatch the clutter, find a proper home for things, and let go of what’s not serving you,” he says. “The more open space you have, the more you are going to be thinking clearly.”

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Make new friends
Just like a new school year paves the way for friendships in the classroom, the fall is a great time to reboot your work relationships. Mellen suggests revisiting collaborative projects and approaching them with a new outlook, letting go of grudges and past tensions with co-workers. “Wipe all of those resentments away and see opportunities for collaboration,” Mellen says. “You travel through the day lighter if you’re not carrying all of that with you!”  

Learn something new
The fall is the time to pursue opportunities for growth that you might have been postponing. Whether it’s taking a painting class or trying yoga for the first time, embrace learning something new. “Just the act of putting yourself in a learning mode will bring an enthusiasm and excitement that will inevitably affect your attitude at work as well,” Mellen says. “You’ll be more open and curious because you’ve had an opportunity to express yourself in a way distinct from what you would normally do.”

Maintain a steady routine
A firm routine can make early mornings with kids a little more tolerable, but an organized daily regimen is equally important for a grown up's productivity. “I would suggest that everything that can be automated become automated,” Mellen says. “If you have a timer function on your coffee pot, use it. Plan your meals in advance. Lay out clothes the night before,” Mellen says. Keep close track of your appointments, commitments and obligations. “If you’re not using your calendar to run your day, you have very little likelihood of the day going how you want it to go.”