Find a dedicated space – choose a location specific for working, even if it is just a section of your bedroom, and declutter to clear away distractions.
Make sure everything you need is in one location – gather up supplies, such as a clock; paper; computer; headphones; note pads; different colored pens; highlighters; and a day planner.
Experiment with what sounds help you focus – an open window to hear the outdoors; quiet music in the background; or headphones to block out all sounds.
Make it appealing – make sure you have a comfortable chair, add a picture or a plant
Keep your goals in mind – hang a calendar or a white board for an overview of your long-term and short-term goals.
Reflect on what you know about yourself
Reflect on what has worked in the past – consider what types of work conditions and strategies have worked for you in the past.
Re-read your last Psycho-educational report – refresh your understanding of your cognitive profile and the specific recommendations that were made.
Use technology– consider what Assistive Technology might be beneficial to help you accommodate for your relative weaknesses https://www.atselect.org/
Advocate for what you need – Make sure that you voice what you need in terms of accommodations for deadlines, supports, etc..
Maximize your effectiveness
Be consistent – wake up at the same time every morning, and follow the same general routine in order to start work at the same time each day.
Just get started– if you are struggling to focus, commit to 5 minutes of focused effort.
Understand your assignments – record deadlines, as well as the main features of the expectations.
Create sub-deadlines – make a list of all the steps that need to be taken before the work is completed. Then, figure out how long each step will take and set a deadline for each one. Make sure you have built in time to get editing feedback from others.
Maximize your abilities– make sure you have scheduled breaks for hydration; healthy meals; and physical activities.
Follow a five-day work week– keep your weekends separate from your weekday schedule.
Break down your priorities for the day– start the day by chunking your goals for the day into smaller tasks with associated timeframes.
Keep your work easy to access – ensure your online platform (such as Google Drive) is organized, (e.g. by subject and completed vs uncompleted projects) and delete unnecessary documents.
Keep yourself accountable
Recruit a work partner– find a peer to discuss assignments, and share your goals with.
Recognize when you have stopped being effective– take a “mini break”, e.g., make yourself a cup of tea; put on some music and stretch; reflect on an issue during a walk around the block; or go to a park and re-read your notes.
Reward yourself – set a reasonable goal, and then do something you enjoy when it is done (e.g., call a friend; get outside for some fresh air; bake some muffins; or watch a show).
End the day well – reflect on what you accomplished, consider what you could do differently in the future, and set your priorities for the next day.
Plan for connection– ensure you have different kinds of connection with others (e.g. friends, family members) on a regular basis.
Set up weekly rituals– make sure you have weekly events to look forward to.
Give yourself credit – consider what you are proud of accomplishing, and how you persevered.
Engage in self-care everyday – reflect on what brings you joy, and how you care for yourself.
To reach the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada located in Ottawa, Ontario please contact:
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