The Seeing My Time Program® is a unique model for teaching the executive skills of time management and organization. Most time-management or study skills courses tell people what to do, not why to do it. I've learned that's the wrong place to start. The Seeing My Time Program® first teaches people to be self-aware and understand the source of their difficulties. Then they can make choices about what tools and strategies to use. Self-awareness begins with an acknowledgment of the pain resulting from time management challenges. Many people with time-management difficulties have internalized that they are “bad” people, lazy, or that they just don’t try hard enough. The Seeing My Time Program® helps these individuals get past their resistance by focusing not on their poor time-management behavior, but on the brain. By educating participants about the brain and their executive functioning strengths and weaknesses, they overcome the emotional barrier to behavior change. The blame is transferred from their lack of "willpower" to their brain. This opens the door to change. Understanding the brain also sets the stage for understanding why specific external tools and strategies are effective. The Seeing My Time® workbook and the tools introduced in the course are a starting point for life change.
Yes. Dr. Russell Barkley, a premier researcher in the field of ADHD, has argued that ADHD can largely be defined as deficits in executive functioning. These deficits transfer directly into poor time management. The activities in the Seeing My Time® workbook help participants with ADHD understand their brains' executive function challenges, and how they can support their brain to get things done. The workbook was designed for the creative, visually-oriented ADHD mind. There is no magic wand or pill to “cure” deficits in executive functioning. However, through the Seeing My Time Program® , individuals are able to understand why they have to use external tools and then how to use effective strategies to support reaching goals and getting things done.
The term "executive function" refers to the processes in the brain which direct our conscious behavior choices. Executive functions connect our present choices to future outcomes. They help us manage our time, be productive, plan, organize, and reach goals. These processes are located primarily in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part of the brain directly behind the forehead. This is the last part of the brain to mature, not fully developing in most individuals until the ages of 25 to 30+. Neuroscience is making great strides in understanding executive functions. Executive function skills - the daily tasks that require our executive functions - are also a hot topic in neuroscience, psychology, and education. The Seeing My Time Program® is a unique model to develop the executive function skills of time management, planning, and organization.
Yes! The Seeing My Time Program® is great for students with learning disabilities. Marydee started out as a teacher and reading specialist. She designed the Seeing My Time® workbook with struggling students in mind. There are very few words on most pages which makes it "friendly" for those with reading difficulties. Participants are asked to draw their responses so they don't have to spell or worry about handwriting. Verbal instruction is backed up with visuals drawn on a whiteboard, supporting visual learners and those with working memory challenges. Many of the activities are hands-on, using flags and sticky notes to concretely "see" time, which appeals to the kinesthetic learner. Teachers, educational therapists, and tutors around the country are using the Seeing My Time Program® materials to help LD students, middle school through college.
To be honest, some adolescents, especially eighth-graders and students transitioning to college, can be challenging to get in the door to try a Seeing My Time course. It's developmental. These are the ages where a part of the brain is pushing to establish independence from adults. They don't think they need any help. If your child has been struggling in school and you have been making the rounds of therapists, tutors, and evaluations, an additional layer of defensiveness exists. He or she may feel hopeless about being able to get better. When a defensive adolescent comes to me, I do my very best to connect with him or her by sharing my own struggles as a student. In the first hour or two I never mention time management or strategies. Instead of focusing on the adolescent's poor behavior, I focus on the brain and how its executive functions impact our ability to get things done. This focus on the brain helps students let go of self-blame and begin to believe that they can get better. At the end of the first session, I then ask the student if they are interested in coming back to learn more. Only a very few have chosen not to. I want to be perfectly honest, I can't make anyone change their behavior. A parent can't make a child change behavior. Change has to come from within. If a person decides that they don't want to participate, I leave the door open. I've had young people come back years later when they were ready for help.
The Seeing My Time course is most appropriate for fifth graders through adults. For younger students, my main focus is on educating the parent on how to support their children.
The Seeing My Time Program® is designed to assist people, young and old, who are struggling with getting things done at school, work, or home. The Seeing My Time Program® has been successful for participants with executive functioning deficits, ADHD, spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, working memory issues, and minimal traumatic brain injuries. The course is especially valuable for students who are transitioning into middle school, high school, or college.