Get Focused

During 2010 we launched a daily reminder email service to help our customers Get Focused.  As preparations begin for 2011, we have been planning some major improvements to My Attention Coach to better serve our customers.  New resources and products will be available in early 2011 to meet your needs.  With these changes, we are also changing the format of Get Focused.

Starting January 1, 2011, the following changes will be implemented:

  • Get Focused reminders will be published here at the blog.
  • To receive your daily reminders by email, register for our blog feed with your favorite RSS reader.  (Click on the subscription link in the upper right corner.)
  • You will not receive Get Focused reminders sent to you by email unless you subscribe through an RSS reader.
  • Get Focused reminders will still be published on Facebook and Twitter so there is no need to change anything on your end if you connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Let me know if you have any questions and if you have a need for any suggestions.

Wishing you a productive New Year!

All my best,

Laura Rolands
Attention and ADHD Coach, Speaker, Trainer
Helping adults and students overcome their ADHD and attention challenges.
(248) 251-4006

Learn and Connect…

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Turmoil to Tranquility: Helping Students with ADHD Achieve More

Join me at the Birmingham Community House to help your child or teenager overcome attention related challenges, develop academic and social solutions, and establish time-saving routines.

This interactive class will explore the ways in which you can help your child to prevail over their challenges related to attention deficit disorders. You will learn coaching strategies to help your child right away and develop an action plan to address one of your specific goals.  Cost is $25 payable through the Birmingham Community House.

Register here to attend Turmoil to Tranquility:  Helping Students with ADHD Achieve More

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Manage ADHD with Group Coaching!

Are you a woman with ADHD or ADD who would like to….

  • Take more control of your TIME, TASKS and TALENTS?
  • Set goals and prioritize?
  • Increase your energy and stay motivated?
  • Stay focused and keep track of time?
  • Achieve your goals?

Ready to move from Turmoil to Tranquility?  Ready to do the things you want to do, but never get around to doing?

You are invited to join ADHD coaches Laura Rolands and Dale Davison in a thought provoking, highly interactive and engaging group coaching program addressing attention-related challenges with ongoing coaching support.

  • Dates: Wednesdays (4 weeks); January  12 – February 2, 2011
  • Times: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Eastern
  • Where: the comfort of your home or office – via teleconference
  • Cost: $125 for the four week session


Contact us if you have any questions.  We’ll schedule a consultation so you can decide if this program is right for you!

Receive the support and structure you need to achieve your goals with interactive discussion and coaching.  Use your strengths.  Achieve your goals.

For additional support, group coaching participants will receive the following during the coaching program:

  • Unlimited email support from coaches Laura Rolands and Dale Davison
  • Unlimited text message support from Laura and Dale
  • Private discussion forum for support from your coaches and peers

Ready to register?   Add this program to your cart below.

Image: Filomena Scalise /

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Choosing the Right Planner

Choosing the Right Planner

Choosing the right planner for you and your lifestyle is very important, especially if you are busy, overwhelmed by your To Do List and/or have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD).  This is true no matter what profession you hold and no matter what your age.  By third grade, even elementary school students need some type of planner or way to keep track of assignments.

ADHD creates significant for people when it comes to using a planner and therefore managing their time.

Your list might be too overwhelming, you might forget to look at your planner or perhaps there are other reasons.  I am frequently asked to recommend the best planner for someone with ADHD.  The bad news is that there is not one best planner.  The good news is that I can still help you select the best planner, especially if you have ADHD.


If you have determined that you need a better system of planning (or just need to start one!), I first recommend that you prioritize what planner characteristics are important to you.  The checklist at the end of this article will help you focus on your priorities and provide you with a template of what needs to exist with your next planner.

To use the checklist, place a check mark next to each characteristic you would like to have in a planner and indicate an A, B or C priority next to each characteristic you check.

  • A = planner must have this
  • B = would be nice for planner to have this
  • C = not so important to me

After you  select which characteristics are important, take the list with you to the store or have it next to you while you search on-line.  This will help narrow your search and end up with a planner that really works for you.

  • If you currently use multiple planners, try to consolidate into one.
  • After you purchase your planner, commit to using it for at least one month.
  • Keep it in a location where you will review it every day.

Select Your Planner

After you have picked your characteristics, it is time for shopping.  A couple of sites to investigate are and  If you are interested in electronic planners, be sure to review free sites (i.e. Google Calendar, Cozi) in addition to all of the devices that are available.  If you have a smart phone, integrate with available on-line tools if that will help you remember to use it every day.  Once you have selected your planner, work with it for at least one month before evaluating it’s effectiveness.  If it doesn’t work for you after trying a new planner for at least a month, you may want to consider something different.  Commit to USING it before you discard it though.

The right planner can make a big difference in getting more done, and more importantly getting your high priority tasks done.  Share your comments to let us know how the check list works for you.  Good luck with your planner search!

Planner Characteristic Checklist

  • _____  Month-at-a-glance view
  • _____  Week-at-a-glance view
  • _____  The ability to see each day separate from all others
  • _____  Spiral bound so I don’t lose any pages and can have the entire year in one product
  • _____  Binder format so I can add and remove pages as needed
  • _____  Zippered binder so I don’t lose any pages
  • _____  Electronic with no need to print
  • _____  Electronic with the ability to print a To Do List
  • _____  Electronic with the ability to print an appointment schedule
  • _____  Paper so I can write in it when needed
  • _____  To Do List available for every day
  • _____  To Do List for the whole month
  • _____  To Do List for each week
  • _____  Room to plan for multiple roles (i.e. Employee, parent, spouse, business owner)
  • _____  Calendar and To Do List integrated into one planner
  • _____  Calendar and To Do List separate from each other
  • _____  Small size for easy portability
  • _____  Large size for ease of writing and room for more items
  • _____  Medium size as a compromise between small and large
  • _____  Time slots for meetings and appointments all day
  • _____  Specific time slots included in the Calendar section
  • _____  Pockets for other items such as cell phone or wallet
  • _____  Wall calendar format
  • _____  Portable format
  • _____  Attached strap so it can be carried like a purse or briefcase
  • _____  Price is no object
  • _____  Budget = $______
  • _____  Add your own characteristics here:  __________________________
  • _____  ______________________________________________________
  • _____  ______________________________________________________
  • _____  ______________________________________________________


For a PDF version of this guide, register here:  Choosing Your Planner Guide


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Disorganized Students: Buy this Book!

Disorganized?  Know a student who is disorganized?

The Organized Student: Teaching Children the Skills for Success in School and Beyond by Donna Goldberg is an excellent resource for students in middle school and high school.  It is useful for their parents as well.   Goldberg is an organizational consultant and founder of a company called Organized Student.  The book has excellent tips and the Goldberg does a great job of breaking down the organization process for parents and children.  Read the chapters that are most interesting, but don’t feel like you need to read the book in one witting.  Goldberg gives excellent advice for organizing a student’s locker, her back pack, school and home paperwork and homework areas.  She also discusses time management, planners, end-of-the-year wrap up and the teenager’s bedroom.

My favorite tips are listed below:

  • When talking to children about working on organization tools focus on one area at a time and use the tools that are easier for the child to start.
  • Give the systems time to work – Goldberg reminds the reader that habits take 21 days to form.
  • Use the assessments that Goldberg provides to make sure you are properly customizing the organization system for the child.
  • If a binder doesn’t work well, a clear plastic accordion file works well to organize all of a child’s school subjects.
  • Use a Desktop Filing System to keep papers organized at home.  If you have a file box for each child organized by subject, they can easily file their paperwork every couple of weeks.
  • If the child doesn’t do homework at their own desk, or likes to do homework in different places, a tackle box or art supply box can be used to hold/organize all school supplies and go with the student where ever they study.

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