Improve Time Management and Organization Skills: Categorize

If you have challenges with your time management and organization skills, categorizing will help to ensure you spend time in high priority areas.

Main Categories

Identify the main categories of work and family priorities in your life.  These categories will depend on the nature of your work and family responsibilities as well as the amount of time under your own control.

Time Required

Decide how much time you need to spend in each of the categories.  Consider standing meetings, appointments already scheduled and the amount of time available.  When I recently went through this exercise, I was careful to add in all of my children’s activities and school schedules.  This helps to avoid surprises and missing important events.  Also, remember, just because there are 24 hours in each day does not mean you can schedule work activities in all them!

Enter all of your standing meetings into your calendar.  When you are getting started, I recommend using my Weekly Planning Snapshot to help you track your time.

Where do you need to focus?

Look at the remaining time you have available and identify how many hours you can spend on each of your remaining categories.  Note this at the bottom of the Weekly Planning Snapshot.

Schedule Your Time

Make appointments with yourself to spend time on your areas of focus.  Check the amount of time to make sure you are focusing on your priorities and requirements.

Review and Do It Again

In order to improve your time management and organization skills, you need to review your progress at the end of the week and start the process for next week.

If you have any questions or any feedback, please let us know here.  We will answer your questions and provide additional information in the future.

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Overcome your Disorganized Desk

If you have ADHD, chances are that you have a disorganized desk.  The reasons behind this are plentiful.  Impulsivity and hyperactivity can cause you to impulsively jump from task to task.  Distractability may cause you to forget to finish an assignment.  You might simply not notice paperwork piling up only to get overwhelmed by it when you realize you need to get it under control.

For simple ways to organize your disorganized desk under control, follow these tips:

computer desk

Paperwork System

  • Develop a system for any paperwork you touch.
  • I like using the categories of File, Trash, Do and Delegate.  If you act on each of these categories as soon as you handle a paper, less of the paperwork will pile up in the future.
  • Keep a stack of file folders and a pen available so you can easily file papers.
  • Figure out how much time you really need to spend on your “Do” category.  Are there low priority items that can actually move to the trash?
  • Remember, delegating does not mean that you need to manage people.  Delegating work to the right person saves everyone time in the long run.  Delegate at home too – even with young kids.

Just 10 Minutes

  • Do anything for just 10 minutes.  Set a timer and STOP organizing when the timer buzzes.  This can help control the overwhelm.  Keep this up for 6 days in a row and you will have an hour of progress!
  • Do the hardest thing first.  Remember, you will only be doing it for 10 minutes!

Start Small

  • Pick one small step to take this week.  Taking regular small steps will help you make continuous progress.  Do not expect perfection on day or week one!

Share your ideas with us here – what are you going to do this week to get your disorganized desk under control?

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Helping Students with ADHD Achieve More

As the parent of a child with ADHD, I know you want to help them achieve more.  There are a few key items to keep in mind when helping your him or her.


  • What goals do you have for your child?
  • What goals does your child have?
  • Please remember that the second question here is more important to ask than the first.  Especially as your child gets older, you need to pay attention to their own personal goals.
  • Make sure those goals are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, results oriented, timely.

CONNECT with your child’s teacher

Homework and Organization Strategies

  • Develop strategies that help your student remember their homework – both doing it and turning it in to the teacher.
  • Help your child learn how to plan projects.
  • Organize at home in a way that works for your student and that works for you.  A backpack landing spot is key!

Learn More

What do you do to help your student?  What questions do you have?  Let us know so we can answer them here!

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Cogmed: Improving Working Memory

Working memory challenges are common with ADHD and an intervention called Cogmed Working Memory Training (TM) can improve working memory in children and adults.

What is Working Memory?

Briefly, working memory is our ability to keep information in our mind in the short term and utilize it to complete tasks.  It is important at all ages and is used in tasks such as completing math problems in our head, completing homework, focusing during a conversation or presentation, organizing materials and getting to appointments on time.  For example, when someone forgets instructions when they leave a room, a working memory deficit may be at issue.  For more specific examples of working memory please go to

How does Cogmed Working Memory Training (TM) work?

Cogmed Working Memory Training (TM) is a home-based computer program that participants purchase from a qualified Cogmed practice and use in their own home for five weeks with the support of a Cogmed certified coach.  Training is completed five days per week for approximately 30 – 40 minutes at a time.

Cogmed was developed by neuroscientists and combines neuropsychology, game development and psychology in its approach.   The theory that working memory can be improved through targeted, intensive and sustained training has been scientifically proven through independent research studies. 80% of the people who complete Cogmed experience an increase in their working memory.

How can I get started?

I am excited to let you know that I have partnered with Dr. Isabelle Beaulieu of the Center for Neuropsychology, Learning and Development of Oakland County as her Cogmed certified coach.  If you are interested in learning more about Cogmed for you or your child, please contact me (248-251-4006) or Dr. Beaulieu (248-644-9466) for more information and to schedule your initial interview.

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Navigating Back Talk by Sandra Huber

A Guest Post by Sandra Huber, The Soulful Parent

Have you ever been embarrassed in public by what has come out of your child’s mouth? Has your son ever shocked you with a statement or phrase you are sure he’s never heard from you?  Do you find yourself feeling so frustrated at your kids poor choice of words or gestures?

Enter a world you were sure you would never visit, let alone set “camp” there:

The world of back-talk and disrespect!

Many of the parents I work with find themselves baffled by their child’s behavior when it comes to sassy talk.  As our children get older their vocabulary expands and their knowledge of the world around them expands.  They start to differentiate from us and with that, we are sometimes faced with their use of seemingly disrespectful tones and attitudes.  If you combine their use of words with gestures and actions you can end up wondering who has taken possession of your formerly sweet child!
One thing to remember is that our children are negotiating the world around them and don’t always have the appropriate tools to achieve their ultimate goal: to be heard and have their needs met.
Many times, parents find themselves exhausted and feeling like things are spinning out of control while they are desperately trying to keep the balance. When you feel like you are “parenting under fire”, feeling like you don’t even know how to respond to your kids sassy behavior, remember “only one of you can have a meltdown at a time”.

Some suggestions to help you navigate successfully the waters of backtalk:

  1. Set clear limits and boundaries as well as consequences for transgressions.  Let your child know clearly and lovingly what behavior is not acceptable and make those your “family rules”. In our home, we have the rule that if you “hit you sit”, making it clear to even the smallest child that there are clear and definite consequences if she decides to use her fists instead of her words.
  2. Follow through with consequences:  Enforcing the rules we have taken time and care to establish is not always pleasant or even convenient. But our children are watching everything we do and holding us accountable for the things we say to them.   Kids need to know what is expected of them but they also need to know that the rules apply consistently. If you agreed that there will be no TV if your son uses a disrespectful tone or word, make sure to follow through: treat consequences as promises you have made to yourself and to your child. It will ensure that your children know that you say what you mean and mean what you say!
  3. Become the Sherlock Holmes in your family!  Make sure to take the time to be a detective and find all the times when your child IS using his manners and choosing to act respectfully. Our children learn stronger lessons when we encourage their strengths instead of focusing only on their misbehavior. We get more of what we focus on!!  The more you genuinely praise their efforts and recognize their victories, the more they learn that you “see” them in their wholeness as a person, not just as the brat that you are always nagging at. You encourage more of the behavior you want by focusing on what is already working!

Sandra Huber is the “soul” and parent coach behind the Soulful Parent. Sandra’s mission is to empower moms of tweens ages 7 to 11 years old, to find their own parenting voice, recognizing that they are their child’s best expert. She understands that your kids, your family and your life are as individual as your fingerprints. Through seminars, blog articles, her own radio show and speaking engagements, Sandra brings humor and hope to moms all across the country, with practical solutions to solve issues ranging from defiance and disrespect, to tweens body issues. To learn more about her work with busy moms check out her website and her  Facebook Fan Page at

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