There are multiple executive functioning challenges when using computers and smart phones for time management tools instead of a day planner for time management. The brain with executive functioning challenges needs to be able to see time all the time. That means that calendar views of the week and month need to be quickly accessible. The schedule for the day needs always be in sight.
Time management educator Marydee Sklar notes, “The problem with the electronic calendars is that they are often unopened on our computers because we use them for other functions. You can’t keep to a schedule or do your to-do list if you aren’t looking at it. This means that you have to remember to open your calendar. Since working memory is often a problem for the time-challenged or ADHD mind, the programs don’t get opened enough. You forget to use them.”
Some with executive functioning issues will try and compensate by having their schedule available on their tablet or their smart phone. However, the problem of “out of sight, out of mind,” persists with those gadgets, as well. Those who can dedicate their tablets exclusively to time management may be able to have both their schedule and to-do list open while they work. They must ensure that they can readily see their tablets throughout the day so that they stay on track.
For those using a program, like Outlook, for work, or to synchronize complicated family calendars, one solution is to use multiple computer screens and have one screen dedicated just to the time management program. That screen will sit open in view while the user works in applications on another screen. For those without multiple computer screens, another option is to print off the daily schedule and keep it on a clipboard within sight.
“I find the old-fashioned binder planner the best solution,” adds Sklar. “It is always at my fingertips. It’s a snap to open to the month calendar to check future dates; no multiple clicks to get to the right view. I don’t use one of those complex systems sold in stores. They have too many pages and forms that are unnecessary. The trick is to keep it simple. I organize mine to hold the essential papers and data for all of my roles. I clip my day plan, week plan, and list of goals for the week to the outside where I can see it at a glance.”
As a time management educator in a private practice, Marydee Sklar has helped families struggling with time management for almost twenty years. Her unique approach to teaching time management comes from her experience as reading specialist as well as her own experience with executive function deficits.
She is the author of three Seeing My Time books, including the Seeing My Time workbook and its companion, Seeing My Time – Instructor’s Manual, which were designed for professionals to use in therapeutic or educational settings.
Sklar is a popular speaker for conferences at state and national levels where she addresses how to teach the executive functions of time management, planning, and organization. As the founder of Executive Functioning Success, she is creating a network of trained professionals to teach the Seeing My Time course to their clients and students through live webinar sessions.
Sklar offers two free resources explaining the role of the executive functions in a child’s struggles and successes, in school, the workplace and beyond at: http://www.BlametheBrain.com.