Getting Organized and Good Work Habits


Forgetting things, losing belongings, not being prepared, leaving assignments until the last minute or forgetting to do them altogether, not knowing how to use a diary or calendar, having a poor concept of time, etc. Does this sound familiar?

There’s always a production line at work….no-one works alone….either you are waiting for something from someone or someone is waiting for something from you. Right???
Check out the articles here if you want to read more from the article by ADDitude Magazine : Time & Productivity

There are 8 main reasons why someone might have “output failure” – that leads to poor productivity, otherwise known as LAZINESS!

  • Could there be a motor breakdown?
  • Could there be a memory shortfall?
  • Could there be a problem with verbal expression?
  • Could there be a problem generating ideas?
  • Is there a distractibility or lack of attention?
  • Is mental energy low?
    Is there a weakness in production control?
  • Is there a problem with organisation?

Can also be an issue with all or some of the above.

What could be causing these challenges?

Some of the external factors are:
Family life
School experience
Socioeconomic background
Role modelling

Some of the internal factors are:
Motivation, drive and ambition
Being in the mood
Having career insights

Let’s discuss each one of the challenges in more depth:

Graphomotor challenges – when your fingers can’t quite do the talking (keyboarding and writing)
Weak memory – working memory, short term memory (remembering several things at once, remembering how to do something, recalling facts)
Weak verbal language leads to weak written language (expressing complicated ideas, finding the right words, speaking grammatically)
Generating ideas – brainstorming, creativity, critical thinking, personal interpretation and analysis and problem solving
Distractibility or lack of attention – Distractibility refers to inability, or difficulty, in maintaining attention and resisting interfering stimuli and Inattention is the lack of focus when focus on a given event or situation is required. Inattention is a hallmark feature of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can affect adults as well as children and teens.
Low mental energy – being in the mood to work, maintaining alert, being able to start)
Also known as ‘mental fatigue’ or ‘brain fog’: feeling tired, difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, or hazy thought processes. The most common symptoms include mental block, lack of motivation, irritability, stress eating or loss of appetite and insomnia. Mental exhaustion can affect you for both short-term or long-term.

Production control weakness – working at an idea rate, learning from experience, thinking about the best way to tackle a problem

Organisational problems – timing, sequencing, handling of materials, keeping work space tidy

Ways to improve verbal communication skills:
How to Improve Your Verbal Communication
Improving your verbal communication skills will help you avoid misunderstandings at work. Take the following steps, beginning even before any words leave your mouth:
1. Be Prepared: Before you start a conversation, figure out what information you want to provide. Then decide on the best way to relay it to your recipient. For example, do you need to do it face-to-face or will a phone call do?

2. Choose Your Words Carefully: Use vocabulary your recipient can easily comprehend: If he or she doesn’t understand your words, your message will be lost.

3. Speak Clearly: Be aware of your volume and rate of speech. Speaking too softly will make it difficult for anyone to hear you, but shouting can be very off-putting. Speak slowly enough to be understood, but not so slowly that you bore the listener or put him or her to sleep.

4. Use the Proper Tone: Your voice may reveal your true feelings and attitude. For example, if you’re angry or sad, it will come across through your tone. Try to stay in control of this, to avoid revealing more than you want and distracting the listener from your message’s intent.

5. Make Eye Contact: The person to whom you are speaking will better be able to connect with you if you maintain eye contact throughout the conversation.

6. Check In With the Listener Periodically: Get feedback to make sure the person with whom you are speaking understands you. He or she must “get” what you are trying to say. While you are speaking, observe his or her facial expressions and body language, or simply ask for verbal confirmation that he or she understands you.

7. Avoid Distractions: Background noise will distract your listener and make it hard for him or her to hear what you are saying, never mind, understand it. Find a quiet place to talk.
Inattentive ADHD (often called ADD) manifests as forgetfulness, disengagement, or distractibility, and can be mistaken for anxiety or a mood disorder in adults. In children, it may resemble a learning disorder.

Ways to improve attention span:

Include some form of physical activity
Have breaks
Adjust work time frames: cannot work for extended periods without a break
Remove visual distractions
Play memory games
‘Chunking’ of tasks: breaking the work down into smaller ‘chunks’ so that the child can tackle one piece at a time: prevents being overwhelmed by seeing the whole of what must be done

Tips for development of organizational skills
Set a designated space for studying and doing homework
Explain how to use checklists or to-do lists: use for chores, help to write down shopping list, tick off homework in diary as it is completed etc.
Arrange assignments and tasks in order of priority and submission date
Weekly clean-up: encourage your child to clean out old papers, etc from the homework space that could be cluttering up the area. File what is needed and throw away the rest
Create a household schedule: set time for waking up, breakfast, leaving for school, homework, meals, etc. obviously relative to each family’s routine
Prepare for tomorrow: check that all school clothes are ready for the next day, all books needed packed into suitcase….let the child/teen do it…dont do it for them. Looking for a tie at 07:20 is a nightmare.
Support your child/teen as they develop these skills

Advice for young adults/HS students:
Know your own strengths and weaknesses and match a career according to your professional compatibility.
Plan your tasks around the best time of day to do certain things…notice when you handle certain things better.
Notice sleep patterns and whether you are getting enough sleep.
Notice where you work best and how….standing desk, noisy coffee shop or quiet office.
Use mobile phone for setting reminders and notifications. Time management apps and calendars.
Keep blood sugar stable and keep hydrated. Watch caffeine intake.
Make checklists at the beginning of the week, for each day and then tick off.
Background music might help or hinder but experiment.

Advice for parents:
Often emotional problems that accompany output failure, i.e feelings of worthlessness, depression, low self esteem, loss of motivation and low ambition etc.
Provide productive prototypes, people to aspire to, mentors
Take an interest and discuss the work the child is busy with
Reinforce and praise output not necessarily results
Reward productivity
Provide incentives…yes, money can be an incentive. Whats their currency
Try and do some projects together. Collaboration is an important skill to learn
Provide and help to maintain a home office space
Set up an enforce “office hours”
Emphasize time management
Balance passive activities like gaming and TV watching with some exercise and outdoor activities
Offer to be the homework consultant…identify the gaps and facilitate where appropriate.
Set timelimits for things, use egg timer or stop watch for e.g. brushing teeth, getting dressed.
Use calendars and planners.
Teach songs about time and alphabet, counting, days of the week, months etc.
Try to keep work space tidy and organised.

A common complaint from parents is that kids leave their projects for the last minute.
Step 1 – brainstorm
Step 2 – gather info
Step 3 – presentation method
Step 4- key words
Step 5 – expanding on key words
Step 6 – heading and layout
Step 7 – handing in

If you’d like to try an online assessment to assess which areas of productivity you need help with, email me or DM on FB.

Please share this article with someone else who might benefit.


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