How to Create My Academic Online Planner in 6 Steps
This a very simple yet effective tool that I use with many of my clients. This step by step explanation of my online planner will help you identify your goals for each month and week. You can easily see what is important for you to manage your time to complete. This is a great tool if you need help with visual auditory and kinesthetic learning techniques. You can see the tasks quickly, talk through how you are going to complete the work and color code the completed action items. Also, it helps with motivation time management and just a great visual.
This is great for organizing subjects, task and deadlines. The color coding system helps to identify exactly where you are in the week with completed items, items in progress, what doesn’t get done and important deadlines. Clients love this simple and yet effective planner!
We are in some really challenging times. The way we go about our life is changing minute by minute.
Are you finding yourself in new roles?
You might have just become a teacher or an academic coach and a home health care provider. Things that you didn’t typically think that would be in your repertoire but now are forced upon you by these new changes. Rightfully so, we need to be responsible citizens.
You might be feeling overwhelmed, confused and frustrated.
I want to ease some of that frustration and fear of what you are now being strapped with. If you are having to help a college student or a public school student at home, I will be able to offer you some advice.
This is what I do for a living every day. For over 10 years, I have helped hundreds of students to be successful in their academic life and career planning. Specifically, I work with clients in organizing, time management, task initiation, planning, prioritizing and keeping them accountable. These are what we call the areas of executive functions.
How is this online format going to work?
Maybe they’ve had a class online before and it wasn’t successful for them. These can be triggers and barriers to their academic success in the coming weeks. So, I want to give you five online school survival tips to help get you started.
You got this!
I often tell my clients or parents of students that I work with what I do is very systematic and it can be done by anybody. The difference is that I’m a third party. So sometimes, when there are internal conflicts or triggers within families, it’s nice to have that third party. I know from firsthand because I certainly paid it forward within my own family and I would still do that today if needed.
So let’s get down to these strategies.
I want to make this quick for you. When you start online schooling, it’s essential to be your own best advocate. It’s important that you self-advocate if you’re not understanding something and need clarity. You need to reach out to your instructors. You’re in charge of letting people know what you need best.
Now for a younger student, this is where the parent has to be intuitive. But it’s important to advocate and it’s going to take a while to get used to.
Start off with writing out what you need or what your student needs to be a successful online student. Share it with somebody that is helping you transition into this new learning environment.
Second of all, there are many resources in this day and age. We are so lucky that we have resources such as online tutoring programs. A lot of the schools probably are going to be offering those. There’s online counseling you can seek as well. Just like myself, It’s really something that can be done through Skype Zoom or Facetime. It’s very common these days.
Make sure that you know what your resources are.
If you’re going to be struggling in one particular subject area and you know that you are going to need help, ask questions about available resources. And that goes back to being your own best advocate.
Goals are super important to set when you have a lot of unstructured time. When I’m working with clients that have online classes, the biggest pitfall for them is not setting weekly and daily goals. That’s a crucial part of what I do. They need to see what’s in front of them and what they want to get done each day and week.
When the instructors give you what they want you to do, take the initiative to set goals and structure your day accordingly. An example of setting goals might be: if your instructors are giving you weekly to-dos on a Sunday evening or Monday, start the week off with a goal-setting session. What is it that you need to accomplish by that Friday and budget your time accordingly for each class. Structure it so that you have built-in time for breaks lunches and tutoring time if you need that.
If you take the time to set the goals that will give you purpose each day and a focus which is an added bonus. Right now, I’m seeing a lot of students pretty bored even though they’re kind of excited to not be in classes. They may have a list of some things they can do around the house, but they’re not supposed to be outside interacting with other people in very large groups. There is only so much downtime they can have. And we really need a purpose and something to do for our mental health. Lay this out with them on a planner with each class and budget that time accordingly. Map it out so that they have a purpose each day. Match it with the weekly plan from the instructor. Your student is going to have a daily purpose now.
Read The Instructions
It’s essential to look at the instructions and read the syllabus. Now as easy and common sense as that sounds, I can’t tell you how many students that I work with that don’t read the instructions. They don’t look at the rubrics. They’re not following the syllabus.
The instructors are going to be communicating a lot via email and possibly sending documents for you to read and follow. If you have a student challenged with some of the executive functions, take the time during goal-setting to go over the syllabus for the week. Check the rubric if they’re doing a project so that they understand what is expected of them. This is an independence skill that even college students struggle with at times. They don’t take that time to just follow through to make sure that what they think the professor or teacher wants is actually what they think they need to do. There are often times when they’re mismatched. I cannot stress enough to take the time to read the materials.
Time To Organize with a planner
I do know there are a lot of instructors out there that are using individual Web sites that can be pretty confusing. So if you feel frustrated with too many instructional sites to coordinate, come up with a plan to take charge of your time and get organized with a planner.
I have a systematic way that I do it. Have all of your subjects across the top of your planner with the due dates set and then backfill it with how you are going to get it done. Start with the end in mind. For example, if there is a project or a test, put that on planner and color code it red, so it stands out. I do it by the month and by the week with students so they can be very clear on what it is that’s important and then backfill it. The next step is to plan how you are going to meet that goal of the test, paper, or project and backfill each step to make the work manageable.
It is super important to hold them accountable each day. Not only are we taking charge of the time by getting organized, but they will also know what’s expected of them. The accountability I recommend is for whoever’s in charge of overseeing student work, whether it be an elementary, high school or college student, look at the progress at the end of the day. I have my clients color code a completed task as blue to show it completed.
I cannot stress accountability as a critical factor in your student’s success enough. In our distracted lives, we tend to forget to follow through on things. We set these goals. We are organized but we don’t follow through to make sure that it got done. In our current situation, most parents are juggling working out of their home, taking care of their family, trying to get groceries and maybe taking care of an elderly person. There’s a lot of stress and there’s a lot going on.
What I recommend and I do myself is to put reminders in my phone. I ask my clients to set reminders in their phones as well. The accountability check-ins at the end of the day improve academic success. Have some kind of reward in place when it does get done. Make it something they can do like gaming or binge-watching a movie series are ideas.
The accountability is what’s going to make them feel accomplished every day. If the student does not get done or meets a daily goal, you’ve got the flexibility to be at home and plenty of time to complete it.
I hope that these tips helped you.
Advocate for yourself
Resources: make sure you’ve got them in place
Goals: Set them each week
Read the syllabus: make sure you understand what the instructors want (rubric)
Take charge of your time and get organized with accountability.
If you do these five things, you will set yourself up during these challenging times for success. You might just help your student become an independent learner by doing the work on his or her own.
Once you follow this for a few weeks, they will get into a routine and it will begin to flow.
It’s going to be a different home environment but you can get into this flow and be successful. This is a time when we really need to embrace our duties. Things are changing day by day but you can put into place a routine at home that your students can adjust to quickly.
We are in some real challenging times. The way we go about our life is changing at a minute by minute pace. We are finding ourselves in new roles. You might have just become a teacher or an academic coach and a home health care provider. Things that you didn’t typically think that would be in your repertoire but now are forced upon you by these new changes. Rightfully so that we need to do to be responsible citizens. You might be feeling overwhelmed, confused and frustrated.
I am here to hopefully ease some of that frustration and fear of what you are now being strapped with. If you are a person that is having to help either a college student or an adjusted public school student at home because you’ve switched to online schooling, I will be able to offer you some advice today.
This is what I do for a living every day for over 10 years. I help students one on one and sometimes do webinars that helps them be successful in their academic life and career planning. Specifically, I work with people organizing, time management, task initiation, planning, prioritizing and keeping them accountable. These are what we call the areas of executive functions.
Now this is going be really important for you to understand as we have different students with variable challenges and strengths.
How is this online format going to work?
Maybe they’ve had a class online before and it wasn’t successful for them. These can be triggers that can be a barrier to what can actually be a smooth working and quite productive time for your family and especially your student. So, I want to give you five online schools survival tips to help get you started.
Can Your ADHD hyper-focus help in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic?
We really need all the creatives and out of the box thinkers right now.
As I went to the grocery store yesterday, I noticed that the shelves were getting empty very quickly. Panic began to set in that I needed to join the masses and make sure I had enough canned soups and toilet paper. My thoughts were, how are we going to regulate the use of this toilet paper within the household and make sure that we can make it last?!
I started getting into panic thinking and reading a lot of the social media out there and the news. It made it hard focusing on my work. When we have a crisis in our life, it can consume us. I felt that it was bringing me down and feeling a little lethargic as I moved through the day.
My own life was becoming to fall down around me as I was looking forward to my son’s baseball game this weekend. It would have been nice to get out of the house to be in an environment I thought would have been relatively safe from the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Our local schools canceled all the baseball games following suit with the national sports. At that point, I really felt the gravity of our situation.
It started to give me anxiety.
I was feeling a little down and not motivated to do what I usually do: creating a lot of blogs, instagram posts and podcasts. Should we halt everything and put everything on hold? I certainly felt frozen and confused.
I woke up this morning and thought, “No!” What we need is the very people that I speak to, the very people that I work with. We need all our creativity and need everybody to help. Because we are really a one-world economy now.
We need to think outside of the box outside of our homes, outside of our towns and the country. There is a responsibility to the world to get through this.
I came across this quote from a professor from a university, Leonard Sweep, and it really struck me.
“The future is not something we enter. It is something we create.”
What can we do to create a future when we’re just reacting, and we’re closing things down?
I feel like we are kind of like a mouse in one of those cages where you’re you’re going down a ramp, and somebody puts a block down that stops you. You turn around and you find another block placed.
As Americans, we cherish our freedom. We cherish our ability to move around freely to do what we want to do. This is what we pride ourselves in. We are being shut down and being confined to our homes.
Driving around my community, I feel anxious. Even going to the grocery store to buy essentials is stressful. Disinfecting my hands and cart and feeling awkward with my fears, I enter the battleground at the grocery store. I leave feeling embarrassed that I’m walking out with a 24 pack of toilet paper, but grateful I snagged one. But obviously, that’s the smart thing to do. I just want to be home, but yet I’m restless. These are strange conflicted times.
I’ve got that restless entrepreneurial spirit and this makes it hard. I like to get out and exercise and am still going to the gym, but I’m reading in the news that people are getting sick in the gyms, so they’re starting to shut them down.
I’m thinking holy cow, you know what does this mean for me? So, this inspired me to write that it’s time for us; the out of the box thinkers; the creative people to start tapping into that inner superpower and hyper-focus during this challenging time.
Now, my own hyper-focus has been on the news and the devastation. I want to understand the impact of what is going on right now.
We’re in a time that calls for us to tap into our inner creative energy to help us navigate through our current world crisis. We don’t want to shut down our thinking of solutions.
The future is not something we enter, but is something we create.
How do we handle the situation?
And respond to the duty to protect our vulnerable?
Go about our daily business while minimizing this hysteria?
This is a very tragic situation. And I have full trust that it’s going to get solved, but we’re in it for a while. Meanwhile, it is wreaking havoc on our world and how we live and work.
We are facing a lot of changes in our routines and how we work.
Could it be a possibility for a positive change?
Can this movement of social distancing and relying on our technology to stay informed and even fed in some areas be something positive and productive?
What do you do when you have all this extra time on your hands?
I’m talking about the extra time you have from canceled sporting events, travel plans, work commute. It really is going to free up some of your time. We can just sit around and read the news, watch the TV and just consume media and feel frozen in life. This is what I am guilty of this last week!
Or, we can shift it.
I often talk about taking a walk in the woods on a lunch break or before you go to work or when you get home to decompress. Since this is a time when you need to distance yourself, Social distancing, you could use it for your personal benefit.
Can you go for a walk around your neighborhood?
Go to a park and go for that walk slowly through the woods?
Use this quieter time to practice being mindful?
Put that energy into something that is going to help you through this or something in the near future?
Or, is there something you’ve been wanting to reflect on and realign your life?
Maybe it’s a career or academic goal. Or, it’s perhaps an interpersonal goal. But this could be an opportunity to really reflect within. Start to tap into some of that creative energy.
You could have a solution for something in your community that is a real problem. It could be a health care issue that you have this great idea for that you can use this time to contemplate. Many inventions come out of problem-solving a current issue. Well, we currently have a lot of problems to solve in a global world. What does our world need right now?
And this change in your day-to-day life can just be what sparks something positive or we can choose to wallow in our grief, anxiety and fears.
If you are healthy and taking the mandatory precautions, heed this advice!
Be proactive in your extra time while social distancing and tap into your creative spirit. You might just change your life for the better or someone else’s!
Let your creative ADHD brain process our current world dilemma and get proactive.
If you have something to share, please comment.
How can we CREATIVELY steer our lives NOW in the most sensible direction for when COVID-19 does pass?
Embrace all of what makes you unique and go with it. . It is precisely this mentality that will allow you to excel and shine in this very competitive world. .
But HOW? It is so hard when my whole life I have been told to act a certain way or do a certain thing. .
Tip: . Go on a mental journey to when you were young enough to not care what you did or how you acted and get in touch with what your innate interests and personality was like then. .
Often you here people refer to successful people like this…. . ”They always were doing ________ . . From a young age they had ___________interests. . Fill in the blank with what that was for you! .
For me, you could find me wandering around our blackberry infested backyard eating the plump fruit while building intricate villages out of random sticks, leaves and insects I found. . I was building my world and creating for hours. . I still have this desire to create and be in touch with nature and incorporate it into my work. . What about you? What makes you wonderfully different? . You Do You .
Your Career Blueprint Begins With Your Passion and Purpose
Passion and Purpose is The Key To Building A Resume And Career Path
Live by your purpose and you will create an inner drive and passion to culminate a life and career path uniquely yours….One that brings out the best version of yourself.
Over 50 percent of the current American workforce are unsatisfied with their current employment and career choice. Considering how many hours people spend at work, it would be a good idea to be among the other 50 percent who enjoy what they do for a living!
Choosing a career path that ignites your purpose and passion in life does not only lead to a higher level of success and satisfaction but fulfillment at work, research also suggests that it promotes long term happiness, and good health.
But for someone with ADHD this may be a daunting and overwhelming task.
Many find it easy to discover their mistakes and not their strengths, they may lack confidence in what they can and cannot do with all the struggles and challenges throughout their lives. By breaking down the components that go into choosing a career and taking a deep look at how successes and personal struggles could serve as a tool for identifying some hidden talents, interests and skills, you can ignite your career path.
This is achievable when you follow a systematic approach to unearth your unique career that works just right for you. Consider it a blueprint to your personal career path.
Develop a blueprint that is authentically yours
A career blueprint for your life will help to create a strong foundation and structure for career happiness. You can compare it to building your dream house. Would you build a house without a well thought out set of blueprints? You might be able to pull it off but how stable would it be for future additions? You would want to put a lot of thought and time into making sure it was right for you. The structure of the house will determine how well you live your life and the problems you may encounter with it. A well designed set of blueprints takes time, energy and passion. It is key to apply this same process to finding a career meant just for you.
Without a career blueprint plan, it is difficult to think through possibilities of how your life experiences connect to your goals and how your career could adapt and grow with you over time.
Joe is a good example of someone who benefited from this process. He was a college student who lacked a solid career plan. He was taking classes to satisfy general requirements but did not know where to specialize his interests. After going through this process, he found that his true passion and purpose was not in the engineering program he had originally thought was his path. He has able to identify key elements that were important to him in a career and incorporated that into what he naturally was good at in college. The great part was that it stayed within the engineering department, but shifted to a more environmental focus. It took into account his desire for travel, continual learning and humanitarian efforts. He was able to design a career blueprint to best set him up for success in this field with strategic action plans and milestones.
Some people may think it is too late in their career to start the blueprint. They may be burned out of their chosen career but feel they are too old and tired to recreate their life purpose.
It is never too late to start creating a blueprint for your life!
And you don’t need to start from ground zero. Through this process, you can see connections that will propel you into your new career direction with your personal history, experiences and narrative. Mary was able to rediscover her life’s passion and purpose by using this strategic process.
Mary was a marketing professional who loved her chosen career path. She had felt passion and purpose and never questioned her choices until she left the workforce for 20 years to raise her children. Now an empty nester, she was looking to redefine her life purpose and re-enter the workforce without spending years retraining to gain new skill sets. She dug in deep to look at her blueprint she had created and found that her life experiences as a mom brought new skills, interests and passion. She was able to find purpose and passion with her experiences that complimented her original career blueprint path where she was making over six figures. In fact, she ended up feeling MORE marketable as she made connections in her current life situation to her previous career experience that were very insightful.
The key to finding a career that gets your passion and purpose burning is to look at your life’s What, Why and How.
The What of the Blueprint
WHAT you want out of life such as interests, values, and personality factor into this equation. You might even find that some of your desires were written by you at a young age. It may be a childhood dream that was imprinted into your mind when you did not have any distractions or life barriers creating doubts that could serve you in choosing the right career path.
Go through these questions and answer them. Writing them down in a journal will help you see a pattern of your wants.
What brings you joy?
It is very important to take time in finding out who you are, ask yourself some important questions. What makes me unique? There may be a special strength in your uniqueness. What are my values and beliefs? What are my fears? Self-knowledge is a key step in designing a career path that works for you.
What motivates and energizes you most?
Another key factor in determining your career path in life is knowing what gets you motivated. Anything that gets you motivated and keeps you energized is capable of sustaining you through the mundane or tough times in a career.
What are you biggest interests?
Knowing your interest is also very important while developing a career path. Your area of interest would be where your career is focused on. You might even find that some of your yearnings and fears were not written by you and don’t suit you now.
Is there a major challenge you want to tackle in your life or career that is important to you?
For instance, If you knew you only had one year to live, what would you want to do during this time?
You can start to identify a life pattern that will point you in the direction of a career blueprint meant just for you by answering these questions. This will align with your plans and purpose in life as the foundation.
The Why of your blueprint plan deepens your connection of what it is you want. Taking a look at your unique WHY or Inner Narrative is a good place to start. What is the voice inside your head telling you?
Why are you the way you are?
Desires, beliefs, values, and fears don’t materialize out of nowhere. Your values and personality are shaped during our lives in several ways. They’re either developed over time by our internal consciousness or as observations made during our life experiences. The key here is to identify the why and know yourself and how it factors into your career path.
Designing a career blueprint for you by taking proactive steps geared with this self-knowledge of who you are and what your wants are makes your career journey of planning and decision making solid and stream-lined.
The How to pull it together for your career blueprint plan
Now is the time to connect the dots and see the patterns emerge. Identify career paths that fit into this using resources available to you.
Once you have a good understanding of your true authentic self of what you want and why you want it, create the career path. Unpack the box of expectations that you grew up with and make connections between, values, personality, strengths, and start to identify paths that will relate to your personal dreams and goals. Your career blueprint plan will start to take form and give you clarity and a vision that you can follow.
And for the skeptics
Yeah sure, things could change, and you may need to modify the plans over the years, but with a solid blueprint, the changes can be handled and accommodated and add value and character to your original plan as it did for Mary.
Your career path is a path that does not need to be a straight path. This thought can leave people feeling panicked when they want to adapt or change their plan. The career stakes become so high and feel unattainable which can leave people feeling stuck and confused. It does not have to be this way.
Gone are the days of people choosing one career and never veering off from that path.
People are creating more of a portfolio of jobs that lead to a series of careers. This can be exciting for someone that has a developed blueprint career path that takes into consideration all the elements to a passionate and purposeful career. The path can have many elements to it that spur off the main course but contribute to the overall career goal. Now more than ever a career path can have many twists and turns that lead to success, fulfillment and purpose.
Consider these point in designing a career blueprint plan:
Make meaningful connections in life experiences: self knowledge
Investigate interests, skills, aptitudes, accomplishments, and challenges
Identify patterns between, values, personality, strengths, and how it relates to career dreams and goals
Build a vision board of what you want your career to look like
Answer some self reflection questions: Is it truly your plan?
Incorporate opportunities for growth and learning in your career
Take note of all the points listed above. Turn them into a manifesto. When you feel overwhelmed and distracted from your purpose, go back to this statement as a guiding light in your career journey.
Build a career path that ignites your passion and purpose and never second guess your career choice.
Your ADHD Mind, Body & Soul Needs You To Get Outside!
Spring is around the corner and is the perfect time for exploring the great outdoors; camping, swimming, running or any sport that gets you outside. Make this season the most by using this opportune time to delve into activities that utilize excess energy so common with ADHD. It may just benefit your ability to focus as well. This is great advice for all and especially for people the ADHD mind.
Exercise has a positive effect on harnessing the ability to focus on things that may appear mundane to people with ADHD. Through diet and exercise, certain feel good hormones, endorphins, are released that may help someone with ADHD focus on the tasks they do not enjoy. So, start enjoying this spring lots of outdoor or physical activities.
Exercise turns on the attention system, the so-called executive functions — sequencing, working memory, prioritizing, inhibiting, and sustaining attention,”….. “On a practical level, it causes one to be less impulsive, which makes them more primed to learn.
Finding the right routine may be the key to developing a long-term exercise commitment. List activities you feel may be something you could enjoy. It is always helpful to see what activities would be a natural fit by taking into account body size and type. There are fun online quizzes to test your interests and body type in choosing a new activity such as doctoroz.com/quiz