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ADHD ResourcesIf you, your spouse, or your child has just been diagnosed with ADHD, it can be a moment that can truly transform you. You may experience a sense of relief knowing that your struggles have a reason.

It can also be the time to learn more about ADHD, the symptoms, and potential solutions. Learning is key to help you reframe and gain awareness of the next steps you may need to take. So, take a minute to review the websites below to get more details. 

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. ~NIH.gov

 

Two ADHD resources that offer valuable information:

 

1. ADDitudemag.com

ADHD Resources

ADDitude first started as a magazine founded by Ellen Kingsley (you can subscribe here). This site now offers multiple resources and focuses on clear, user-friendly solutions for families.

There’s a broad range of information about all stages of ADHD, work-life balance, parenting, school, symptoms, and diagnosis. ADDitude offers blog posts, free printables, articles, discussion and support groups, and webinars, and you may join the ADDConnect community “where parents, ADD adults, professionals, and loved ones come together to ask questions, share advice, and make connections.”

My favorite feature is the weekly webinar. Leading ADHD experts share insights, ranging from family mindfulness to helping your ADHD student. It’s offered midday on Wednesdays so that during lunch hour, you can attend or you can enroll and listen when it’s more convenient for you.

2. CHADD.com

ADHD Resources

CHADD stands for Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and was founded in 1987. It is a membership website that offers ADHD tips and tools as well as the Attention magazine to its members.

Their website shares ways to further understand ADHD, resources, blog posts, advocacy information and training. CHADD also hosts an annual educational conference with well known researchers and professionals in the ADHD field.

My favorite feature is the Parent to Parent program which offers parent training, provides educational information, and supports individuals and families dealing with ADHD.  It is taught by parents for parents.

The National Resource Center on AD/HD is an additional resource online affiliated with CHADD. It also offers webinars and other information to assist you with learning more about ADHD. In addition, you may reach an Information Specialist via telephone (or on their website) to have questions you might have answered.

These resources will get you started as you navigate new perspectives on ADHD.  Take advantage of their social media connections to learn more, and join local chapters in your area to engage with and learn from others.  There’s so much power in learning, sharing, and connecting!

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Fact Friday: People are More Productive on Tuesdays

On April 4, 2014, in Fact Friday, Productivity, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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“If you have a big project, or you just want to make time to get some work done, a new survey says that Tuesday is the day to clear your calendar and try to get things done—it’s the one day of the week we all buckle down and try to be most productive.

Read More:

Tuesdays are the Most Productive Day of the Week | Lifehacker.com | 2.18.2014

 

 

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Magnetic Organizing System (MOS)

Original Image Credit: Kickstarter.com

It’s amazing how many cords we have in our lives, and inevitably, the one we need is usually hiding somewhere on the floor behind our desk.

If you’re as klutzy like me, you wind up risking a head injury crawling underneath your desk to retrieve the pesky cord.

Enter the Magnetic Organization System (MOS).*

This product began life as a Kickstarter project, and it’s amazingly simple. It’s one of those ideas that when you see it, you think, “Oh, of course.” It makes me wish I had thought of it.

What I Like

The MOS is a cute, curvy triangle with a powerful magnet inside. It is available in three colors (black, white, and aluminum) and comes with three rubbery magnetic ties that you can lock around the end of your cords. The cords then stay magnetized to the MOS for easy access.

Cords will attach to the MOS without the ties, but using the ties makes it a more solid attachment.

Remove the clear sticker on the bottom of the MOS, and it will stick to your desk like a suction cup. A wall mount sticker lets you do what the name implies – mount it to your wall, but I could see some people using it in their work cubicle wall or underneath their desk to keep their cords from living on the floor.

You can use MOS as a charging station for your phone and tablet. Or, place it on your desk to keep your printer, scanner, and other cables.

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Image credits: BiteMyApple.co, Kickstarter, and MOSOrganizer.com

What I Would Change

My only complaint is that I wish it was a little bigger for a few more cords. What can I say? I love my technology.  I would need two of them – one for my iPhone, iPad, and iPad keyboard chargers.  The second would be on my desk to manage my printer, scanner, and other “accessories” for my laptop.

Cost and Where to Buy

Your purchase price for the MOS varies based on the color you want. You can expect to pay $23.99 for the black or the white unit and $39.99 for the aluminum model. Buy it online at Amazon, BiteMyApple.co, Sewell, or in Apple Stores. Btw, you can also buy the MOS Magnetic Cable Ties (3-pack) separately on Amazon for $5.95.

If you’re using the MOS, I’d love to hear what you think about it, so leave a comment below.

*Disclosure: A free MOS was sent to Deb who then passed it on to me to check out. My review was not directed in any way by Deb or the creators of the product nor was I compensated for reviewing it.

 

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Fact Friday: Walking Can Stimulate Creativity

On March 21, 2014, in Fact Friday, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Amidst all the different types of meetings in a work day, and in order to wrestle with all the mental constraints we have to work with (e.g., perfectionism, anxiety, insecurity, etc.), a simple 10-minute walk can do wonders for the mind. Fresh air. A change in scenery.

As it turns out, even when we aren’t paying attention, we see and remember more than we think we do….Even walking around aimlessly could stimulate your creativity and help connect some weird dots.

Read More:

The Afternoon Routine That Should Replace Your Extra Cup of Coffee | HuffingtonPost.com | 1.8.2014

 

 

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Fact Friday: Smiling is Good for Your Overall Health

On March 18, 2014, in Fact Friday, Wellness, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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The power of a smile is transformative and we all have that power when we smile … there is a science behind smiling that begins in the brain. Once the smiling muscles in the face contract, there is a positive feedback loop that goes back to the brain and reinforces our feeling of joy.

Your brain keeps track of your smiles, kind of like a smile scorecard. It knows how often you’ve smiled and which overall emotional state you are in.

Studies have shown how smiling reduces stress, increases our overall health, well being and attitude.”

Read More:

Your Smile is Worth a Thousand Words | SmallBizTrends.com | 4.16.2014

 

 

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The time has arrived for this month’s 5-Minute Organizing Challenge! You’ll be able to explore what you can do for five minutes at a time to get your life more organized.

Did you know the third week of March is National Clean Out Your Closet Week? With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to organize your closets! Here are some tasks that will each take as little as five minutes AND help you get your closets in order.

Closets

Original Image Credit: Houzz.com

 

Step 1: Start by planning which closet you want to work on first. My suggestion is to begin with the one that will be the biggest challenge. Enter the times you will work on organizing the closet that week on your paper or digital calendar.

Step 2: To avoid the monotony of spending 30-40 minutes organizing a closet, break it down to one shelf at a time. Place several large bins near the closet and label each one (towels, cleaning supplies, etc). When you finish, push them into an area that won’t obstruct the walking path by the closet.

Step 3: Each time you schedule five minutes of organizing, simply categorize items you take from the one shelf into the bins. When you finish, push them back out of the way.

Step 4: When shelves are empty, wipe them down with cleaning products. If the shelves will take more than five minutes to wipe, you can do this in several mini-sessions. Then, clean up the floor in a mini-session by quickly sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming it.

Step 5: Last, place the similar items onto each shelf. Break this down into short sessions like you did with the first step. At the very end, put the bins you used for sorting/categorizing your items back to their original storage spot.

When your closet is completely organized, you will have practiced the “Law of Positive Accumulation.” Since you may have not had time to do the whole project at once this week, you were able to complete it in small chunks of time.

Do you prefer to organize your closet all at once, or do you break it into mini-sessions? Leave a comment below with the strategy that works for you.

Click Here to Learn More Ways to Get Organized in Five Minutes!

Essential Organizing Task: How to Organize Your Handbag

On March 16, 2014, in Clothing, by Stephanie Shalofsky
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organized handbagWarmer temperatures are finally here … and after the long, cold winter we are all looking forward to adding a touch of spring to our wardrobes. My thoughts turn immediately to handbags and shoes.

I have been very inspired by the current fashion trends which include vibrant colored handbags. And, I’m looking forward to storing away my large brown handbag this weekend, replacing it with a bright orange one, and organizing my handbag so that I can start the season with all of the essentials in my bag.

Benefits of an Organized Handbag

In thinking about transitioning from one bag to another, some thoughts for better organizing my handbag started to come to mind. The benefits of having a well organized handbag especially in these days of over-sized bags are many.

  • By organizing your handbag, the contents will be limited to the essentials. This will minimize the weight of the bag making it easier to carry around. For me, as a city girl, walking is a main means of transportation, so I don’t want to carry a heavy bag.
  • You will be able to quickly find your keys, sunglasses, phone, or other essential items whenever needed.
  • You won’t have to worry about projecting a less professional, unorganized image when you need to locate a pen during a meeting with a prospective client. This is always top of mind for me.

How to Organize Your Handbag

The process of organizing your handbag is similar to organizing any space your home or office.

  1. Empty the bag and sort the contents. Discard the candy wrappers and used tissues and return items that don’t need to be in the bag to their rightful home. Then,  identify those items that must stay in the bag.
  2. Assign a location for essential items. Keep in mind that those items (i.e., your phone, keys, Metrocard, etc.) should be kept in a pocket or compartment that is really accessible as they are frequently used. That way, you can easily retrieve them when you need to.
  3. Regularly sort through your bag. As in any organizing project, the key to long term success is maintenance. Spending a few minutes each night emptying extraneous items from your bag and ensuring that each item is in its home will help you keep your handbag organized.

Four Bonus Tips for Keeping an Organized Handbag

  1. Zip it up. Keep a small zip top bag in your handbag and use it to collect each day’s scraps of paper and unwanted promotional flyers. At the end of the day, quickly empty and return the zip top bag to your handbag.
  2. Corral your receipts. Designate a section of your wallet or separate pouch for accumulating receipts. Based on the volume that collects, determine the best frequency for transferring the receipts to your files.
  3. Use a sorting bowl. If you change handbags frequently, empty the contents of your bag into a basket or container, and then pack your bag from the container. This way you can be sure that you will always have all those essential items with you.
  4. One in, one out. Large bags tend to get overstuffed. To combat this, remove at least one (or two or three) items before adding a new addition to your handbag.

Don’t overlook your handbag when organizing your wardrobe now that the warmer temperatures are here. It won’t take long and will be time very well spent!

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Still Time to Organize Tax Paperwork!

On March 13, 2014, in Tax Preparation, by Stephanie Shalofsky
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I find personally, as well as with my clients, that having a definitive deadline for completing a task can be very motivating as it keeps the task top of mind. This is especially the case when the job needs to be done within three or four weeks’ time or less — like when you need to organize tax paperwork.

Organize Your Taxes

Original Image Credit: John Morgan via Flickr Creative Commons

 

A Tax Preparation Story

Over the past 3 months, I have been working with a client who has a home-based business. During this time, my client (who I’ll call Joan) and I have met periodically to organize tax paperwork for her accountant. While we have been making good progress, I believed that a deadline imposed by Joan’s accountant would be the best motivator to get this task completed.

When I asked Joan during today’s meeting if an appointment had been set with her accountant, she advised that she had yet to do so and didn’t think that she could be ready until April.  Knowing full well that her accountant would prefer to meet this month, I suggested that she call her accountant to set the appointment, and within minutes the meeting was booked for the very end of March.

Deadlines Keep You Accountable

During the rest of time scheduled to organize her tax paperwork, Joan was much more focused on the tasks that needed to be done and spent the time reviewing and consolidating her income information while I worked on filing one last batch of 2013 receipts that we had discovered.

Now that Joan has to be prepared to hand off her tax information on March 31, homework assignments are more likely to be completed between our meetings. Hence, I will be ending each of our upcoming meetings with an assignment. Today’s “homework” included printing the one remaining credit card summary statement.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

We have worked together to organize tax paperwork for Joan’s accountant for the past four years.  Over this time, we have developed a process for sorting, filing and categorizing the expenses. This year we have introduced a significant change.

Instead of preparing a handwritten document summarizing the expense categories with their respective totals, Joan agreed to let me help her create a worksheet in Excel for capturing all of the relevant information.  This not only allows us to easily make corrections as needed but also let excel do the calculations instead of relying on the calculator (with a number 3 key that sticks!).

Needless to say, introducing technology into our process was a major step.  I had created the original worksheet four years ago, but we never used it as this was outside of Joan’s comfort zone.  Fast forward four years later … this year Joan was ready to embrace this change and has been adapting well to our new process.  The combination of using Excel plus having a definitive deadline will ensure that this task is completed well in advance of Joan’s meeting with her accountant.

So, just like Joan, you, too, can make the necessary changes to help you get your taxes organized and ready by the deadline. There’s still time!

 

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LinkedIn: 3 Simple Tips To Increase Leads

On March 10, 2014, in Social Media, by Nealey Stapleton
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There’s a lot of buzz about LinkedIn these days, but what the heck is it anyway? As a small business owner (or someone who’s looking for a career change), LinkedIn can be a great resource. And, you might find potential clients there.

Increase your leads with LinkedIn

 

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social media platform that serves the business community. In my opinion, it is one of the top social media websites and very worthy of checking out and getting involved in.  It’s like attending a networking event except it’s online, and you don’t have to get dressed up for it.

You meet new people, give out your business card, create relationships and hopefully work together in the future. It’s a fantastic resource and can be used to your advantage with small amounts of time and effort.

Why should you use LinkedIn?

I follow a bunch of social media experts online and found that they had some of the same ingredients when it came to LinkedIn success. I put their tips into action in the last few months and what do you know?! Success! I’ve already gotten a client that I meet with on a regular basis, and that alone is enough proof that LinkedIn is worth a shot and the following tips will work.

By doing a few simple things, you can achieve similar results.

How can you increase your leads with LinkedIn?

Here are the top three LinkedIn tips you can use to increase leads. I learned these strategies from social media experts far and wide and highly recommend you put them into practice.

1. Complete Your Profile. First, it is imperative that you simply complete your profile.  I know this seems obvious, but many people don’t do this and it costs them.

LinkedIn-Complete-Profile

Second, the first thing people should read on your profile is how you can help them. This way, they can quickly learn what you offer instead of immediately clicking away, and then you can funnel them to your website or e-mail list.

2. Do The Networking. Add connections on a regular basis. As a frame of reference, I invite two new contacts to connect per day. If you don’t want to commit daily time to it, then add fourteen new connections one day a week. The bottom line is to add contacts regularly, so that your network is constantly growing.

LinkedIn-Connections

Once you connect, send your new contact a welcome message. I HIGHLY recommend this. I crafted a customizable welcome message and it’s saved in my Drafts folder. When I have a new connection, I copy the welcome text into a LinkedIn message, customize it with their name and send it. I’ve gotten great responses from new connections by doing this simple, quick task and have also grown my social media following because of it.

3. Get Active. It doesn’t have to be every day, but get involved regularly. I would recommend some sort of participation at least once a week. This can include taking part in group discussions, posting status updates of your own, and liking and commenting on others’ status updates.

LinkedIn-Status-Update

What has been your experience with LinkedIn? Do you have a specific question? Please share it below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn or take a look at my page as an example, feel free to check out my profile here. Looking forward to connecting!
 

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Fact Friday: “Music Helps You Finish Boring Tasks Faster”

On March 7, 2014, in Fact Friday, Productivity, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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“Because listening to music you like is pleasurable, it will not only make the task seem more fun but as research shows, it can actually help you complete the task faster.

In a study published in the journal of Neuroscience of Behavior and Physiology, it was found that a person’s ability to recognize images, letters, and numbers was faster when rock or classical music was playing in the background compared to when there was no music.”

Read More:

Listen while you work: What music does to your brain | TheNextWeb.com | 2.10.14

 

 

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