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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

May 24th, 2018

Taming Technology

Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC of The Hallowell Center of Boston MetroWest interviews renowned developmental psychologist Dr. Saul Rosenthal on the challenges and dangers of technology. Both Ms. Shafir and Dr. Rosenthal have extensive experience helping clients balance technology usage and offer suggestions to curb its over- and mis-use so that it becomes the helpful productivity tool it was intended to be.

Listen to the recording.

May 16th, 2018

Dr. Hallowell Memoir Pre-Order Gifts and Book Tour

Order before May 30 for Pre-Order Gifts! Learn More.

 

Join Dr. Hallowell at one of his upcoming Talks and Signings to promote his Memoir, Because I Come From A Crazy Family The Making Of A Psychiatrist.   Pre-order your copy now at: 

AMAZONBarnes & NobleBooksAMillion or IndieBound

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

June 13, 2018  7pm @ Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA

June 14, 2018 6pm @ Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA

June 15, 2018 7pm @ University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, Seattle, WA

June 16, 2018 4pm – Villa Duchense & Oak Hill School, St. Louis, MO – Register for this FREE event!

June 19, 2018 7pm @ Water Street Books, 125 Water Street, Exeter, NH

June 21, 2018 7pm @ Belmont Books, 79 Leonard Street, Belmont, MA

June 29, 2018 12:30-1:30pm Author Showcase at NAMI Convention, New Orleans, LA (Note: need to register for convention to attend this session.)

July 10, 2018 7pm @ Gibson’s Bookstore, 45 South Main Street, Concord, NH

May 15th, 2018

The (10 +2) x5 Rule?

by Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC Personal Development and Executive Functioning coach at the Hallowell Center MetroWest  

A February 2017 Inc. Magazine article by Dan Scalco titled Four Ways to Stop Procrastinating Right Now provided some helpful tips for managing procrastination such as creating false (earlier) deadlines, donating $5 to a charity for every hour you waste, and moving tasks to the afternoon if you idled away your morning. His first suggestion, however, was the (10 +2)x 5 rule.  This process reportedly makes a work task “less intimidating.” The (10 +2)x 5 rule goes like this: do 10 minutes of focused work with a 2 minute break and to repeat this interval 5 times which results in 50 minutes of work. The (10 +2)x 5 rule will keep you on your toes, but it is flawed.

This rule feeds your distractible nature and discourages concentration on a task. The (10+2) x5 rule may come in handy for folding laundry or doing yard work, but not for work that requires analysis, processing, or integration of complex information. Here’s why:

  • As clock ticks closer to minute #8 there’s the tendency to start looking forward to the break or rushing the work to beat the clock, again wasting time.
  • If most of your work involves the computer, your 2 minute break will likely be spent on the Internet or on your phone (Good luck keeping those breaks to 2 minutes!).

The (10+2) x5 rule also assumes that you will make nice, clean transitions from the break to the task. Unfortunately, research shows that your brain will continue to reflect on the entertainment from break time for at least a few minutes before you can steer your concentration to the task. Therefore, if you factor in transition time, time needed to re-engage in the task, and time anticipating your break you may end up flipping those numbers – it’s more like 2 minutes of work and 10 minutes or more of break time!

A better system is to keep your phone and any other controllable distraction in another room. Allocate 30 minutes of work and 5-10 minutes of a break. Do that interval 5x and you’ll get close to a good 2 hours of work. Make your breaks screen-less – a brisk walk or some stairs will make the mental transition time shorter. Physical exercise will help you process the portion of the task you just completed, improve your focus and your attitude about the task you’re trying to complete. This (30+10)x5 is much more productive way to get things done.

Just as there are different brains, there are different ways to avoid procrastination. To learn more and to come up with a system that works for you, contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com

May 14th, 2018

Long-Term Use of Tylenol During Pregnancy May Raise Risk of Autism, ADHD

Dr. Hallowell weighs in on this Healthline article on Tylenol and ADHD

May 8th, 2018

Summer Academic Support

Summer CollegeCore Coaching helps upperclassman in high school or a college build a strong core of personal skills and routines for success in September. Whether you are taking summer school or not, there are many ways to cultivate new habits and mindsets for getting work done, done well and on time. These are the skills and routines of strong leaders, so learn how to be the leader of YOU. CollegeCore Coaching is customized to your goals which may include:

  • Distraction control The ability to shift at will from distractions to a high state of focus and concentration and sustain that focus for a reasonable about of time. This includes control of electronics.
  • Making and adhering to a schedule; accounting for how you spend your time
  • Strengthening attention and concentration skills
  • Good quality sleep (a normalized sleep pattern) and regular exercise timed right for optimizing attention and getting work done.
  • The ability to advocate for oneself. Asking for help when needed, seeking alternative resources, being persistent, self confident and how to connect with “difficult” teachers. This is Introvert-friendly training!
  • Enhancing critical thinking  and verbal expression
  • Emotional self-regulation to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Reinforcing a sturdy set of WHYs (powerful reasons) to fuel

When these core pieces are in place, one is more enabled to utilize top-down tools for time management, study, working memory, planning and executing tasks. Without a strong core, top down tools and strategies won’t stick. It takes more than courage to take on challenges – it takes core!

CollegeCore Coaching is a one-on-one, personalized program for high school juniors and seniors on a college track and for college students returning to school in the fall. Sessions are in person or via Skype. For more information, please call me, Rebecca Shafir, speech pathologist  and executive function coach at the Hallowell Center (978) 287-0810 x117 or (978) 255-1817.

May 8th, 2018

Stimulants and ADHD

May is Mental Health Month. This video is about stimulant medication, more specifically the general stigma that steers people away from trying them as part of treatment for ADHD.  Used properly under medical supervision, stimulant medications are safe and effective, but most people are terrified of them and do not want to even consider trying them. I address this issue in this video

This month, my Note from Ned is a Video from Ned.  That’s a first for us, but I think we will do it more often, as people like video often more than print.

I hope you like this piece and share it.  Please send us feedback about the video format and let us know what you think.  You can always email me directly at drhallowell@gmail.com

When medication works, it works as safely and dramatically as eyeglasses. Medication helps about 80% of the time in the treatment of ADD. Make sure you work with a doctor who can explain the issues around medication to you clearly. Most people do not realize how safe and effective stimulant medications truly are, when they are used properly. Make sure you work with a doctor who has plenty of experience with these medications. The stimulants include medications like Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Vyvanse, Focalin, and others. As long as you take them under proper medical supervision, they can help you immensely.

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