EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS

If you are a business owner or an executive moving up the corporate ladder, or a student trying to juggle school, work & a social life, time seems to be very limited. On the other hand you find yourself with seemingly unending tasks you have to complete on a daily basis. Without proper time management you can easily end up bogged down, distracted, inefficient and ultimately unproductive. This can seriously affect your chances of success and the pace at which you make progress. Here are tips you should use to effectively manage time and stay ahead of all your important tasks.

  1. Work with far shorter deadlines than you are used to and stick to them

One thing that fuels procrastination is the illusion that you have more time in your hands to work on activities. To avoid this, create shorter deadlines to create a sense of urgency on the various tasks you need to complete. You should not struggle with perfection, as when you get the tasks done you will have adequate time to brush through the work. Shorter deadlines also allow you to fit more tasks in your daily schedule.

  1. Schedule major tasks in your calendar well ahead before it gets crammed

Major tasks and events should always be scheduled before everything else. This will ensure smaller and unimportant tasks do not fill out your calendar and daily schedule. Waiting for a space of free time is an illusion especially for someone with several things to attend to. You should take charge of what you are doing by planning for the important and highly productive tasks first.

  1. Avoid multi-tasking

Unlike what is generally ascribed to, multi-tasking has been found in numerous studies to be inefficient and highly unproductive. You use more time and do not complete any of the tasks to the required quality levels. This is because you are hardly concentrating but only dividing attention across all tasks.

  1. Learn to delegate

You need to have a great talented team around you and empower them to be able to function with minimum support from you. Micro-managing the team highly affects your time schedules and the productivity of the whole department and business. Delegate all tasks that do not require your direct personal input and those outside your area of expertise. Learn how to effectively delegate to free up much of your time for more demanding tasks.

  1. Save unimportant but time-sucking activities for the end of the day

All activities that need to be done but take most of your time should be set towards the end of the day. This allows you to focus more on the valuable and more productive tasks during the peak business hours. You can deal with social media and mails as well as return personal calls at the business end.

  1. Establish a regular schedule for taking care of yourself

You need to discipline yourself to have enough time to unwind, eat well and exercise. To function at your optimum and be able to take control of the time you have, you should be mentally, physically and spiritually at ease.

For more information about Dr. Nach’s Online Resources and how to enroll, visit our website at: http://drnachonline.com/

 

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

Info@SupportForStudentsGrowthCenter.com    www.SupportForStudentsGrowthCenter.com

IS SOCIAL MEDIA KILLING SOCIAL SKILLS?

Social media is taking up a lot of our time. So much so that conversing with each other face-to-face has suffered a huge blow. Anywhere you look in public spaces, people are glued to their smartphone screens. Also, conversing and speaking in full sentences has become a chore for some people. This is obviously due to the influence of social media and text SMS. Even at home, the number of families that sit down to have quality time together or to share a meal is declining.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, SMS, and many other impersonal ways to communicate are taking over the place of talking and sharing. These modes of communication have their benefits such as being fast, easy, and available 27/7. But they should not take the place of face-to-face and verbal conversations.

Some people have forgotten how to construct a sentence, especially the young generation who only want to communicate via chats. In fact, when they get together with their friends they are unable to have a conversation. It’s gotten to the point where they instead get on their devices and text each other or other friends.

What can be done to change the situation?

Social media has an important role to play in society, but it must never replace human contact. Try to switch off the phones while at home with family or when having dinner and start the tradition of face to face communication. Share some quality time with your friends and have a good talk, get to know each other as individuals. Real conversation is important because it teaches us how to interact on a personal and human level.

The problem is that most of the time our eyes are glued to a device. Practice the art of conversation. Discipline yourself to put away your mobile device and learn to make eye contact. Learn how to listen and how to construct your thoughts into full sentences. In fact, make time to practice good verbal skills by taking up a lesson that addresses conversations skills. Dr. Nach’s Online Resources has lots of lessons that impact crucial interpersonal skills such as public speaking and communication.

The needed social skills 

We need to learn how to interact properly as human beings. For this, we need to learn the following skills.

Synergistic interpersonal skills

We must practice active listening. This means maintaining eye contact and paying attention to what the other person has to say. Don’t interrupt or let your thoughts wander. Try to understand what is important to them. Learn to put yourself in their shoes, so to speak. Active listening is one of the most important social skills. Practicing it will make you more engaging and charismatic.

With synergistic international skills, you will be able to start and maintain conversations. You will also know how to disagree in a respectful and constructive manner. This will enable you to make and keep real friends.

Dynamic group performance

Interpersonal skills will empower you to reap the benefits of being effective in group situations. You will be able to use tools such as ‘small talk” and active listening skills to have an impact on the social culture at work or in school. This will boost your self-esteem and eliminate the fear of criticism or feedback.

Beneficial conflict resolution skills

Interpersonal and group skills will enable you to develop and implement options and solutions to conflict. This will elevate your standing in social situations and make you an important member of the society. You can use these skills in all social settings including in school, at work, and in the social world. You will be able to interact well with others, influence situations, and become a leader.

So yes, social media is killing social skills. But there is a way to stop (and even reverse) that. And Dr. Nach’s Online Resources is here to help via well thought-out online lessons fit for people of all ages.

For more information about Dr. Nach’s Online Resources and how to enroll in our online lessons, visit our website at: http://drnachonline.com/

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

www.SupportForStudentsGrowthCenter.com

Create a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Children who may be on the autism spectrum, have ADHD, or sensory issues may become overwhelmed by family gatherings and activities that come with the celebration of the “holiday season”.  The daily routine, so important to many of “our children”, is broken and the inability to “predict” what events will play out in a day can lead to behavior issues. Holiday decorations, lights, music, smells, foods, unfamiliar pets, loud conversations, cigarette smoke, perfume, hugs, and having strange people around are not exactly normal to their routine.  When you look at it all through “our child’s” eyes, it is understandable that they may struggle with the events of the holidays.

When preparing “our children” for the unpredictability of the holiday season, you want to start preparing them early and to practice for the new or out of the ordinary social experiences. I have been asked to provide parents with a brief overview of some of the therapy-based options, family-oriented ideas, and travel suggestions that you can implement when preparing your child for holiday festivities.  To follow is a partial list of ideas to consider and follow with fidelity that are sure to make this holiday season, a wonderful time for all.

Therapeutic Options

  • Social stories can help prepare your child for any new or uncomfortable event. Find stories (using the internet, via books, or from professionals) that cover how to act during holiday activities such as parties, being around unfamiliar people and large dinner gatherings, or write your own personalized social stories (be sure to keep ALL of the verbiage positive).  These stories allow your child to visualize the out of the ordinary situations and see them in a positive light.
  • Behavioral therapy can help your child deal with the behavior problems created by their perceptions and emotions.
  • Your child may benefit from therapeutic social skills groups.  Children are encouraged to practice social situations with their peers (through role playing and modeling) as they are being taught by professional therapists how to generalize solutions to perceptual changes.
  • It is not recommended to make medication changes during the holiday season, unless you are given specific directions to do so from your child’s providing physician. We want our children to remain as balanced as possible during the holiday season.

Family-based Ideas

  • Make sure your child’s favorite foods and activities are included in the celebrations.  Any time you can add in their special interests or some of their limited favorite foods, you will increase their comfort level and the enjoyment of everyone around.
  • L.T. Take precautions to minimize the chances that your child is (H) hungry, (A) angry, (L) lonely, or (T) tired. Any of these conditions by themselves is enough to heighten sensitivity and impair your child’s perception, which will impact everyone they come in contact with.
  • For those holidays where gift giving is the norm, inform gift givers of your child’s specific interests and dislikes. If possible, parents can help other gift givers make appropriate gift choices. Some of “our children” are sensory sensitive to the texture and/or sound of items, whereas others are emotionally sensitive and will “react” poorly if they perceive they are being given a gift appropriate for a much younger child. Receiving unwanted items may even lead to a meltdown.
  • Have an alternate plan for times where sensory issues become a problem. Anything from a quiet place to regroup or calm down, to planning to stay for only part of the time of the event, may be necessary.
  • Virtually any parent who has a child with “perceptual and or “social challenges” knows the value of having not only “Plan A” and “Plan B”, but, “Plan C, D, E, and F”.
  • Set your child up with a “buddy” during holiday festivities, the “buddy” can be a responsible sibling, cousin, or adult. Parents need to know the child is safe and hopefully enjoying themselves, while parents and others are entitled to a stress-free (or at least, reduced stress) holiday season.

Ideas for Traveling

  • Parents would be wise to research the location the family is going and the means of transportation being taken to get there. Fortunately, today, many facilities and organizations understand about the “special needs” some of our children have.
  • If your child has sensory issues such as sensitivity to noise, smell, touch, or lighting, see if you can reserve accommodation that are less stimulating to your child. Sunglasses, a hat, and earplugs may also be beneficial.
  • If you are traveling by plane, ship, or train, you can inform the agency of the needs your child may experience and provide them with a “heads-up” of potential issues. Once again having “Plan A, B, C, and D” in place should greatly increase the level of holiday enjoyment for everyone involved.
  • When sensory issues are involved, it can be worth bringing along your child’s normal bed sheets and pillows in case they find those in a hotel unpleasant. Any new clothes for the trip may need to washed several times if your child finds these ‘scratchy’ on the skin.
  • The use of electronics (with headphones) has proven to be helpful to help “our children” so they become distracted from overly stimulating situations and have a method to relax.
  • Some of our children are extremely comfortable on airplane’s, some are not. If your child has the potential to struggle with being confined on an airplane for hours, you may want to consider different options. You do have the option of boarding first, choosing special diets, and optimal seating. Service animals may also be an option for your family.

There are parent support groups and therapeutic service providers who can serve as valuable assets to having a wonderful holiday season. Don’t just leave this to chance, prepare and you will be rewarded.

Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Certified Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates

Support for Students Growth Center Website: http://www.supportforstudentsgrowthcenter.com

Dr. Nach’s Online Resources Website: https://drnachonline.com

Science and Social Skill Summer Camp

Our program is designed for children and teens between the ages of 5-14, who are “mainstreamed” and would benefit from a small intensive science experiences, technology infused, and social skills-based camp experience in Boca Raton. (Interview required, camp limited to 12 students each week)

We are an approved PLSA Provider

Sessions

June 2016 July 2016 August 2016
Session 1: June 5-19 Session 5: July 10-14 Session 9: August 7-11
Session 2: June 12-16 Session 6: July 17-21
Session 3: June 19-23 Session 7: July 24-28
Session 4: June 26-30  Session 8: July 31-4 **No camp the week of July 4th

Sample Summer Camp Schedule

Time Activity
8:00-9:15 Drop off
8:00-9:40 Group Free Play
9:40-10:00 Focusing activity (stretch, yoga, breathing exercise)
10:00-11:00 Technology infusion/Team building/Science Experiences
11:00-11:15 Snack Time
11:15-12:00 Social Skills activity
12:00-12:30 Lunch
12:30 1:00 Music therapy/board games
1:00-1:45 Science Experiences
1:45-2:15 Snack, Quiet time (reading time, group play)
2:15-2:30 Wrap-up/Review
2:30-3:30 Group Play, Art, Music, Board Games, Reading
3:30-4:00 Parent pick-up*

Cost: $495 per week

*10% Deposit due by May 1

*Final payment due 2 weeks before each session


Community Based Instruction

-Bowling

-Lunch

-Mall Outings

-Boca Police Department

-Boca Fire Department

Fun science experiences daily!

Organization doesn’t only refer to our child’s physical items and physical possessions; it can also include organizing their time and activities. Taking time to label what they want and need to accomplish allows them to sort through everything on their “plate” and how to tackle it. Since everything is lined out and identified, regulating their time and energy can seem less overwhelming and stress producing.

Write It Down

When organizing their priorities, it is important for children to write them all down and make themselves some sort of “primary list” because it helps them remember everything they want or need to accomplish or complete later. This list gives them a visual aide to use when making organizational decisions. They don’t have to list the items in any particular order, but just list anything that comes to mind. Once they feel they have completed the list (for now), then they can go back and assign their tasks in priority order. Common codes such as ABC or 123 can be used to determine each listings priority and how they will proceed with each one.
Common methods for “writing down” items and tasks to go on their “To-Do List” include:

  • Use an agenda or day-to-day planner
  • IPad (or other tablet) and/or IPhone (or other smartphone)
  • Laptop
  • Use post-it-notes
  • White board
  • Family or personal calendar

Help your children and family find the approach that works best for them and use it “always”.

An Amazing Tool to Identify Urgent and Important Tasks To-Do

Sometimes we confuse our urgent priorities with our important ones, which can cause us to be confused about what to take care of first. The Urgent/Important Matrix is a tool that we can use to think about our priorities and how we handle them. Before we can use the matrix, we must write down everything we want to accomplish in a certain period of time, such as daily, weekly, or even further and assign their priority in which we want to get them done (See previous exercise).
The matrix is divided into four quadrants, each ranging in importance, and allows for activities and projects to be plotted in each one based on their need. Using the list, the child creates with your help, you and your child would plot each job in the corresponding quadrant. After all of the tasks have been plotted, you can see all of the things your child wants or needs to do and how urgent or important they are to us and them. This leads them to make better choices regarding their time management and overall organization.

Here is one of many versions of the Urgent/Important Matrix that can be used for various things. We’ve included a common version that can be used with everyday activities.

Picture1

Divide Tasks

Now that your child made a list and categorized all of the things they want and need to accomplish, it can seem overwhelming or even intimidating to get started. But by dividing their tasks into smaller groups of things to do, they can feel more empowered to get them done. Tasks can be divided any way that is convenient, such as things to do for one particular project or maybe even things to do that involve going through papers. They key is to find what combination works for them.
Helpful hints:

  • Sort tasks by each specific project
  • Decide what tasks can be done the fastest
  • Determine what tasks will need more time

80/20 Rule

Simply put, the 80/20 Rule targets the need to focus on what is or should be important to our children, and disregarding the rest. In most cases, 20% of things we have or accumulate are important to us, while the other 80% is usually trivial, if not useless. If the 20% is handled first and focused upon, the remaining 80% practically takes care of itself. For example, using the 80/20 Rule, they can sit down with their daily To-Do List and identify the top three or four projects or tasks that need to be done (the 20%). Then outline the less important things that can be done next, or even at a later time (the 80%). By focusing on what is the most important/urgent first, they are more focused and ready to tackle them. Once they are completed, the rest of the tasks seem less daunting and can be done with ease.
The 80/20 Rule is about being organized while doing what they want and need in their everyday life (and not just more organizing!).

Excerpts taken from the workbook titled “Organizational Skills for High School, College, and Career Readiness” Program, offered at The Support for Students Growth Center in Boca Raton.

FREE Special Needs Training and Events at BCC!
All activities are FREE & open to the community. Registration required for all events.

BCC-Community-Events-Feb-May-2016