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					Time Management & Organization Skills:
      A Toolbox for Skill-building


        Ali Zidel Meyers, MSW
         Meyers Learning Center



          www.meyerslearningcenter.com


          www.meyerslearningcenter.com
      This presentation is copyrighted.
Please do not copy, distribute, or share this
 presentation or the information contained here,
without the express written consent of the author,
     Ali Zidel Meyers, MSW (650 544-5645 or
   ali@meyerslearningcenter.com). Thank you.
            September 17, 2007




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    The Learning Journey

The greatest thing in this world is not so much
where we are, but in what direction we are
moving. -Oliver Wendell Holmes




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      Navigating the Journey
• Where are you?
• Where is your child?
  – Capacities
  – Challenges
  – Crossroads (academic, personal,
    psychosocial, physiological)




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   Welcome
                  •    Who I am…
                  •    Why I’m here
                  1.   Tools
                  2.   Techniques
                  3.   Trouble-shooting
                  •    What you won’t
                       hear



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                      Caveats

• No silver bullets


• Content vs. process

• This is an ala carte presentation.

• Journey Juncture (Slice it Up)


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             Our Journey Map
   The Tactical:
1. TEACHNIQUES
   Role Modeling
Directed Instruction
    Limit-Setting




     The Practical:
 2. LEARNING GEAR                            3. Dealing with Difficulty
   Time Management                                Avoiding Traps,
      Organization                       Embracing Creativity, Collaboration
                                                 Problem-solving


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               The Tactical:
           TEACHING TECHNIQUES
               Role Modeling

  Children need models, not critics.
• Role modeling: They watch what you do and
  mirror that. They do as you do.
• Despite every best intention or lofty lecture, your
  deeds set the strongest example.




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                TEACHNIQUE:
               Direct instruction

• Direct instruction: Show and tell.
• Osmosis works in biology but not in learning
  time management & organization skills!
• Kids who struggle with attention, executive
  functioning, other learning differences need new
  behaviors spelled out directly (and reiterated) in
  ways that match their learning styles.
• ―Here’s how to fill out your planner…‖ ―Here’s
  how to approach the teacher for help…‖
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                    TEACHNIQUE:
                     Limit-Setting
• Limit setting: Help them understand what’s
  safe and not, what’s okay and what’s
  not…boundaries
• ―Don’t carry your sister by her neck.‖



• Specific limits should be CLEARLY defined and
  maintained as non-negotiables.
• Publish your Priorities: Decide on priorities
  and make them known (personal safety, school
  work, personal space, communal space)
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             The Tactical:
         TEACHING TECHNIQUES
               Summary


• Role modeling: They watch what you do and
                      they do as you do.
• Direct instruction: Show and teach new
                          skills directly.
• Limit-setting: Define/communicate where
                         and what the boundaries
 are.
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                  Our Journey Map
       The Tactical:
1. TEACHING TEACHNIQUES
        Role Modeling
     Directed Instruction
         Limit Setting




         The Practical:                          3. Dealing with Difficulty
     2. LEARNING GEAR                                 Avoiding Traps,
        Time Management                      Embracing Creativity, Collaboration
           Organization                              Problem-solving



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Learning Gear: Time Management




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     Learning Gear: Time Management
              Role Modeling

How do I teach my kids to manage time effectively?

• Model (practice) the behaviors you expect of them.
  – Time chart
  – Be ready for appointments on time (or early)
  – Build time awareness:
     • Time estimates, real time (chart it)
     • Have an EXTERNAL dialogue about time
       around/with your child
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      Learning Gear: Time Management
               Role-modeling
• Did you know you have to play ping-pong for 12 hours
  to lose one pound?

• Examine ping-pong tactics you may use in your own
  life. Look for ways to make your own tasks more
  efficient, and model those for your child.
• Buy an old-fashioned (analog) watch and wear it;
  have your child wear one so s/he can see the ticking
  away of seconds to hours--how time moves.
• Prominently post a large calendar for the family and
  empower everyone to use as a master planning tool.

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    Are you a perpetual time juggler?
    Role-modeling Time Management
•   Do you feel victimized by time?
•   Schedule/commitment overload
    and stress
•   Consider messages transmitted
    to kids about time use and life
•   Work on creating balance,
    teaching balance.
•   Practice being a time manager,
    rather than a time martyr.
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       Learning Gear: Time Management
               Direct Instruction

Everyday lessons: the world is your classroom
• Simple, everyday tasks
• Teach time-saving techniques for…
  – Computer work, document-saving conventions…
  – Preparation (clothing for next day, lunch)
  – How to estimate the length of tasks, then add a
    cushion (double it, even).
  – Managing HW and other beloved tasks. Make it real:
    use blocks or manipulatives to demonstrate time and
    its passing.
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        Learning Gear: Time Management
                Direct Instruction

• Be architects of time: enable your child to partner with
  you in planning and owning their time.
• Build a time management blueprint for a set time period.
   – Discuss given tasks for a particular day, weekend, or
     week ahead.
   – Plan the timing of events with your child. Map it out
   – Build in contingencies. When problems arise, treat them
     as time-based word problems and solve together
   – Execute the plan. Evaluate its effectiveness.


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          Learning Gear: Time Management
                    Limit-Setting

• Do you fear limit-setting?
• Conflict avoidance, fear of perpetuating a
  painful cycle, not knowing how or where to
  start…
• Obstacle to teaching time management skills
• As kids move from dependence to
  independence, they need limits defined
  regarding time, or they will not learn how to
  use it effectively.

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       Learning Gear: Time Management
                 Limit-Setting

• Teach ―First things first!‖… ―The sooner you do
  it, the sooner you’re through it!‖
• Students should have a regular Study Routine:
  their working hours (no distractions, no
  interruptions).
• A bliss list or ―time tokens‖ can be used to
  reinforce the notion of working hard, then
  enjoying free time.


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Learning Gear: Time Management
          Limit-Setting

• Publish priorities.
• Discuss with your child.
• Problem-solve together when conflicts
  around time use occur.
• Time monsters can be postponed until
  after schoolwork is done, even used as
  rewards.


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            Learning Gear: Organization

               What is it?



• v. or·gan·ized, or·gan·iz·ing, or·gan·iz·es
• To put together into an orderly, functional,
  structured whole.
• To arrange in a coherent form; systematize
• To arrange in a desired pattern or structure
• To arrange systematically for harmonious or
  united action
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          Learning Gear: Organization
    Organization Demystified
• The secret’s in the system.
• The key to organization is not so
  much in a magical type of system, but
  in finding a system that works for you,
  implementing it, and maintaining it.
• Does your form = your function? Are
  you wearing hockey gear to play
  tennis?

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            Learning Gear: Organization
                 Direct Instruction

• Two basic elements to organizing (for kids):
  1. Their stuff/space
     • Planner, binders, study space
     • Bedroom/dorm room, household: drop spot, crates,
       filing containers
     • Weekly Weed-outs, 10-Minute Tune-ups (daily) for
       maintenance
  – Tell them directly what you expect and show
    them how to do it. Ask them to ―teach the
    teacher‖ to check their understanding.
  2. Their time (time chart), routines and habits
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            Learning Tool: Organization
                  Role Modeling

• You can hire an expert, read books, surf the net--
  but the system you devise for yourself (or with
  your child) will be the most effective & enduring.
• Develop an organizational plan of attack.
  – Find the spaces in your life that are most out of order.
  – Start aligning form with function.
• The goal is not to have the fanciest
  system, but one that works well for you.


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             Learning Gear: Organization
                    Role Modeling


• Implement some aspect of your plan each
  week. Examples:
  – File, Pile (to handle NOW), or Recycle your
    mail. Give your homeless stuff a home.
  – Organize yourself in baby steps; get a key dish;
    tackle that junk drawer
  – Do a weekly weed-out: dump out your purse,
    wallet, briefcase and weed out once a week. Rid
    yourself of clutter you don’t need.
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           Learning Gear: Organization
                  Limit-Setting


• Rescue selectively.
  – What are you doing for your child right now
    that he/she may do for themselves?
  – Fast forward any of these behaviors another
    5-10 years. Will they have adopted these
    behaviors or still be relying on others for
    them?
  – Logical consequences, natural outcomes
  – Kids with LD—a delicate balance: support,
    tools, age, stakes
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          Learning Gear: Limit-Setting
           You’ve got power…use it.
•   Consider every single thing your child
    considers a birthright:
    •   Unlimited phone access
    •   Unlimited kitchen access
    •   Hobby time
    •   Cell phone time
    •   Computer access
    •   Allowance
           These are privileges, not rights.
            You can grant (or deny) them!

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   Learning Gear: Organization,
Time Management Go Hand in Hand

    Direct Instruction:
    • Teach your kids to
       – Think ahead.
       – Plan ahead.
       – Act now. (A planner is a terrific tool for
         practicing these concepts).
    • Empower your child to begin to self-
      manage; these skills will be critical
      throughout the lifespan.

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Create the conditions…
Be a farmer                …not a fly




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                  Our Journey Map
       The Tactical:
1. TEACHING TEACHNIQUES
        Role Modeling
     Directed Instruction
         Limit Setting




         The Practical:
     2. LEARNING GEAR                            3. Dealing with Difficulty
        Time Management                               Avoiding Traps,
           Organization                      Embracing Creativity, Collaboration
                                                     Problem-solving


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            Dealing with Difficulty:
               Avoiding Traps
1.   Multi-tasking = Effective Time
     Management
2.   I should let my kids figure this stuff out
     on their own.
3.   I’m hopeless; I can’t teach these skills.
4.   My child is hopeless. I’ve tried telling
     him/her what to do, and it’s not working!
5.   The Felt Fishy Syndrome



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            Trap #1:
 Multi-tasking Means Effective
       Time Management

• We all do it. Is it
  effective?
• University of
  Michigan study


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        Multi-tasking:
not all it’s cracked up to be
                 • For all tasks studied:
                 • Subjects lost time when
                   they had to switch from
                   one task to another
                 • Time costs of multi-
                   tasking: You've got to
                     (a) want to switch tasks
                     (b) make the switch
                     (c) get warmed back up on
                       what you're doing.
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Multi-tasking Takes Time
 1. Translation: multi-tasking can actually
    lengthen task time.
 2. Other problems: distraction, car
    accidents, relationship difficulties,
    stress
 3. The real world: multi-tasking is a
    reality of our modern society… some
    parents feel it’s important that their
    kids know how to do it
 4. Be mindful about multi-tasking

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Trap #2: Let them figure it out on
           their own.
 •   Developmental factors
 •   Time is an abstract concept.
     • Would you teach Algebra to a 3rd grader?
 •   Future-thinking
 •   Realistic Expectations
 •   Your involvement

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       Trap #3: I’m hopeless.

• Start small.
• Examples: Each time you walk through a room,
  put something away.
• Each time you sift through the mail, practice
  the OHIO principal (Only Handle It Once).
• Check out FLY LADY.NET
• Involve your child in problem-solving around
  family time management issues
  – Ex: How to avoid black holes (loss of stuff=loss of
    time)
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              Trap #4:
         My child is hopeless.
• Don’t give up. Do you think that your child
  is un-teachable? Of course not.
• Any kind of behavioral change takes
  time, effort, and lots of practice.
• Have you been a farmer or a fly? …Work
  to create solutions that really fit. Your
  answers may not be the right ones for your
  child.
• Recognize what your child does well; give
  specific praise when you see it happening.
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               Trap #5:
       The Felt Fishy Syndrome




There’s always someone doing a “better” job…

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        Dealing with Difficulty:
              Problem-solving
• Feeling off track?
• Collaborative problem-
  solving provides a
  roadmap
• Creative, collaborative
  problem-solving (H/O)
• School Tips Handout


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Dealing with Difficulty: Reminders

• Bad-habit-breaking: Any kind of behavioral
  change takes time, effort, and lots of
  practice.

• Have you been a farmer or a fly? …Work to
  create solutions that really fit. Your answers
  may not be the right ones for your child.
  Create the conditions…nurture the seeds.

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          Dealing with Difficulty
    When in doubt, resist the SHOUT!
• Acknowledge difficulty, empathize
• Explain relevance
• Help your child find other options.
• Emphasize solutions, not what s/he should
  have done.
• Practice accountability
• Ignite Motivation
• Praise successes, big and small

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           Is it time to seek help?
•   These challenges are all NORMAL!
•   Kids need trial and ERROR to learn,
    problem-solve, figure it out…expect that
•   In some cases, it makes sense to seek
    outside help:
      1.   Tapped out
      2.   Relationship unraveling
      3.   Potential and performance out of sync
      4.   Your child asks for help
      5.   Your child seems depressed or anxious

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                 Final Words
• Change takes time. Have faith in yourself and
  your child.
• You may not get immediate feedback or
  showers of thanks, but it will come in
  surprising ways, if you are open to it.
• The real moment of success is not the
  moment apparent to the crowd.
                         - George Bernard Shaw




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        Questions?
Time Management and Organization Skills:
       A Toolbox for Skill-building

         Ali Zidel Meyers, MSW
          Meyers Learning Center


           www.MeyersLearningCenter.com

            www.meyerslearningcenter.com

				
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