Archive for October, 2011

Peak performance is often considered to be that rare level of performing achieved only by elite athletes, gifted musicians, brilliant actors, or someone who is operating at an almost super-human level.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Certainly excellence and superior achievement will be the result of peak performance.  But superior to what?

Moments of greatness come from being completely absorbed in a task or activity and completing it to the absolute best outcome possible for you at that time.  If you have done that and the task is deeply meaningful to you are probably peak performing.

A master key to peak performance is this:  “Did I do the very best I could on that task just a moment ago?” and “Is it better than before?”  If you can answer these two questions with a resounding “Yes!” you were very possibly peak performing.  Another very strong consideration is the appropriateness of the action you were engaged in.  If you have committed to lose weight you might have done a stellar job of polishing off 4 large slices of pizza but the action itself was not aligned with your goal.

If your child is tackling some difficult math problems the key to their best performance is whether they took the shortest available path to find the right answer.  Even if your child is a B or C math student, the most important question is did they do the best possible work at that time.  Peak performing moments can come while wrestling with a difficult task and coming out with a victory.

It is very important for children to have some peak performing experiences during the school years so that they have a growing awareness of doing some things brilliantly.  And it is important for parents to remember that this exciting level of performance can be hitting a grand slam home run in a baseball game or working diligently to find the answer to that difficult math problem.

Peak performance is not about  being the best it is about doing your best.

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Getting organized for successful study sessions can provide your child or teen with that extra burst of energy that can turn homework tasks into a string of victories instead of it feeling like drudgery.  If your student can sit down to a well organized desk or table which has all necessary books and materials they’re feelings lean toward “I can do this” instead of “Ugh. It’s homework time.”  If part of the challenge of getting homework done is searching for a bunch of missing items, the child’s energy goes down during this frustrating or annoying task.  They know it is a waste of time.

Having a regular place where the homework is done is especially good for many students as it is more predictable than choosing a place each day.  This stable location also allows for supplies to be positioned within easy reach and a great habit for the student to form during the school years is to “reset” and “restore the work area after each study session is complete.

If your student likes to move around and study in different places, they can use a portable supply basket that always has all the key materials needed for homework and study time.  A well stocked supply basket can also offer that good feeling of “ok, I’m ready.”

This time and energy saving habit will be of great help during the school years and in the adult workplace as well.  Your child is now practicing getting more done with less effort.  What’s not to love about that?

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Organizational skills are just that.  They are skills!  And like any skill they are learned.  If your child struggles to get organized or has given up altogether, you can help.

The first step is to understand that every child can develop good habits of managing day to day tasks in a fairly organized manner.  It is certainly true  that some children are more naturally inclined in this direction than others.  But it is important if your child seems to lack these skills and abilities, that you make extra effort as early as you can to help them learn the essential organizational skills.

You want to begin this process as early as possible because the longer a child struggles to be organized and fails to accomplish it the less confidence they will have in their ability to learn the skills.  This lack of confidence will make it more difficult and the learning process will take longer.

By far the most helpful thing you can do as a parent is to get the child the very best organizational tools and systems to work with.  During the school years an excellent notebook system such as our Pace-It Instant Organizer Notebook system can do an enormous amount to build confidence in the child for getting all their papers back and forth from school to home.  That is the most challenging area of getting organized for most school aged children.

When your child successfully uses a powerful tool or system they suddenly realize that the system does most of the work for them.  They no longer have to figure out where to put each piece of paper.  The system already has a designated place for everything.  This “figuring out where to put it” is usually the failure point for most students.  If they decide where to put each paper as they go along they often fail to develop a pattern of which things go where at which point the storage destination becomes “somewhere”.  That can create real problems when it is time to retrieve that particular paper.  How would it be for you if documents on your computer were just “somewhere” rather than organized in “my documents” and arranged alphabetically in folders and by file name?

Give your child access to organizational tools and systems during the school years and it will do a great deal to help them acquire good study habits and build confidence.  A powerful tool for helping disorganized students in grades 4-12 organize their homework papers and gain a huge advantage when studying for tests and exams is the Pace-It Homework Instant Organizer Notebook System.  Being able to get homework done and turned in on time is an excellent habit to form to support success in school and later in the adult workplace.

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Getting your child organized and developing the habit of doing things in an organized manner can create huge benefits for both you and your child.  For your child the immediate benefit of beginning to operate in an organized manner can bring a substantial boost in their level of self-confidence.  It is the beginning of doing things more efficiently and effectively.

While it may take a bit of time for the child to realize exactly what it is that is making the difference in how well they are doing, they will start to feel better right away.  Just doing daily tasks in a shorter amount of time will pay off in more free time for the child.

For you, the very busy parent, there will be  a great benefit as your child turns these new skills into habits.  As your child requires less prompting and supervision you will have more time available for other activities.

There is some investment of time for you to get these valuable skills in place for your child but the long term benefits will pay dividends for years to come.  Won’t that extra time be nice for both of you!

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