Students (parents and teachers) here I have some great tips for you, especially if you tend to have a lot of missing work and feel overwhelmed by school. You’ll need a gmail account. I will show you how to make school a bit easier to manage so you have more free time and fun time, and less stress.
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Video Transcript: Click here to download the transcript PDF.
Hey, what’s up students? My name is Seth Perler, and I am here today to help make your life easier. What I’m going to show you today has to do with a Gmail account in Google. And if you have a Gmail account, you can do this. Otherwise, you can do it on some other program that’s similar, you can probably find a workaround. But the idea of what I’m going to teach you today is going to make your life simpler, easier, and less stressful. Therefore, you have more fun, more freedom, and will help you not only now with school life, but also to have a better future, because it’ll give you some tips for how to organize some stuff. Now, before I get started, the first thing I want to say is, as I show you this stuff, students, a lot of you, if you struggle with this thing called executive function, which is what I struggle with and what all the students I work with struggle with. If you struggle to get things done, you have a lot of missing work, late work, zeroes, incompletes, you’re always trying to get caught up and you’re just in that cycle. If that’s the case, then as I show you the stuff, you’re going to be resistant, meaning I’m going to say something, and you’re like, “Oh, Seth, I don’t need that, oh, I can keep it in my head.” That would work for other people, but it wouldn’t work for me. I want you for just the duration of this video, to have an open mind. Whatever I teach that you like, use it. Whatever you don’t like, don’t use it. Or whatever you like, use it but adapt it to you.
The second thing is I talked about a thing called Frankenstudy. Frankenstudy is this idea that sometimes your parents, or teachers, or coaches, or tutors, your friends, schools, they’ll tell you this is the way to do it. This is the way to do the three-ring binders, or folders, or planners, or whatever. Look, you may need folders or binders or something to manage papers. You may need some sort of a planner system, but the way you do it, when people are like, “This is the best way research shows blah, blah, blah.” Look, research may show that, but that may not be for your brain. So always go back to Frankenstudy, which means to customize, tailor, personalize your systems to you. You can go say, “Mom, dad, I don’t need to do it this way. I need to do it.” But you do need to do it though. But you need a reliable way, a reliable way. So your way is reliable, and customize it to you. You know your preferences and your needs. So I’m going to go ahead and get started here.
What you’re going to need is a Gmail account. And I’m going to show you a couple of things. You may want to pause the video several times as I teach this today. Basically, here’s a Gmail account. And in this email account, I just have the black theme on so if it looks different from yours, that’s why. What I want you to do is go over here, and there are some buttons over to the right. There’s the letter B, which is your name, your account. These nine dots will show you all of the different things that you can access in Google. Your calendar, your YouTube, your Gmail, and everything. Then you have the calendar here, something called Google Keep, something called Google Tasks, and your contact. What I want you to do is click on Google Tasks, and this is a task list. I’m going to show you how to do this task list right here. So again, you click on the blue dot, Google Task, it will open it up right there in your Gmail. I don’t like it open in my Gmail, because when I’m working in email, I don’t want to see all that stuff. So what I do is I go to a calendar, here’s the calendar that I have set up for you. I’m going to run through a lot of tips here, so get ready to hit pause.
If you want to implement these, the first thing I do is I often will help people set up these different categories of calendars for yourself. One for school, family, fun, for me. I do guitar, so you can do your hobbies, important things that would be like appointments, then I don’t usually use these reminders here. And then wellness, that could be fitness, workouts, sports, whatever. So anyhow, these are the general categories I usually set people up with. And I usually will make the school one be red, because it signals to the eye that it’s important. So red is an alert color, and I want that for things that are not done. Then, what we can do is we can close this here, and we can make it look nice and big. And then what I want to do is I want to go over to the task list over to the right. When I open up this task list, it’s going to show me some tasks. I’m going to show you how to do that in a second. Before I do that, let’s look at the things that I put on the calendar for today. So today’s the 21st. But let’s say, oops, let me click on the today button because I lost it. Let’s say that on the 22nd there was an MLA paper due and on the 24th, there’s a math exam. Here on the 19th, there was something for social studies due. Let’s start with the social studies, notice that this is green. That is because if you right click, this was the default color. But let’s say that I turned it in. When it’s done, it’s not done. I always say when it’s done, it’s not done. When it’s turned in, then it’s done. So a lot of my students have a lot of missing work. A lot of my students, they’ve done their work and they forgot to turn it in and got a zero on it. And sometimes they even got it done on time and get a zero or 50% off because it was turned in late. So we don’t want to do that. Basically you right click on it, and you can change it to green and that tells me that I turned it in, or you can go into ‘Edit’ and you can change the color here in order to show the different colors. So I like that’s green because I don’t have to worry about it. However, I have an LA paper due tomorrow, and that is red and it says that there’s a note next to it. So I always put the thing short. I don’t write Language Arts, I don’t write English, I don’t write, you know Mrs. Smith’s class. I write just LA or M for math, or SCI for science, or SS for social studies like I did here. Bio for biology, whatever. I always use shorthand, but we want to see what it is first. LA, math social studies, I want my eye to notice that first. I always use all caps too, so that my eye can have an easier time seeing it.
Now it says that there’s a note. So if I edit it, you can see that here’s where the descriptions go. And that’s where notes go, here’s where you can add the location of a Zoom room and stuff like that. Now, this one says math exam note. And let’s say I put a note down here. So oftentimes, in the notes, I’ll show you something similar in a second, but here, you can add in the link to your class, you can add in the link to the PDF for the study guide, or whatever. So if I have note here, that means that I have notes down here, and you can add tons of notes down there, even for a research paper, you can add notes down there. But now what I’m going to do, we have three items, this one’s done, these two are not done. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to open up the task lists. Now before I go into why this is important, let me say this. When I teach students planning, and this is going to drive some of you nuts, and the reason it’s going to drive some of you nuts is because you’re smart. And you know that you want to do the least amount of work possible for the greatest effect. That’s smart, right? Usually it is. But when we cut corners, what’s called cutting corners, it becomes bad and not the smartest thing. So on guitar, if I want to do there’s something called economy picking, if I want to pick really fast on a song and make my guitar just sing and I want to pick really fast, I want to move as little as possible, I want to use as little effort as possible on guitar. If I am swimming, or running, or doing a sport, I want to use as little as effort as possible to win the game or to to do the move I’m trying to do. For example, on swimming, you know, maybe I want to put my hand in this way to grab the water, I don’t want to confuse you here.
The point with the fact that you want to take shortcuts, and cut corners is smart. But in some cases it’s not. And here’s what I’m getting to. When I’m teaching students how to use calendars, I teach them how to use it. I don’t care if it’s paper, or digital. I’m showing you on Google Calendar right now, I love Google Calendar, but you can use a mix of paper and, and digital. But whatever you use, it is important to have a large monthly planner that tracks all of your work. And it’s important to do what’s called a ‘Daily Plan,’ meaning making a plan every day. You’re like, “Yeah, but Seth, I can just click on the portal and it’s all there. It’s all listed, all my missing assignments are in one place in bubble lists.” And if you want to have a successful future life, where you really are in practice of doing things to help accomplish your goals, you will be able to do anything, any goal you have in life if you can plan well.
If you can’t plan well, you’re going to limit yourself. You’re going to have less freedom, less fun, and more stress when you get older. You’ll have more freedom, more fun, and less stress when you get older. So practicing this daily planning now is important. So now let me get back to it. Basically, if you see here today in this thing, so I’m going to close it now. Now let’s say we have our calendar here. I want I keep this open on my own calendar. This is called today, and this shows everything I have to do today. And let’s say this one is fun. Maybe for fun, I want to research a guitar amplifier, oh and I am learning to kite surf. So maybe I’m researching harnesses, maybe I have one category called fun. But I also have one called ‘Today.’ Now notice this M urgent. That means math urgent, LA urgent that means language arts urgent. And then maybe I have some other things. So first, let me show you how to use this real quick. So basically, what you’re going to do is you’re going to pick a task, let’s say that we have a new task. And let’s say that that task is to send a check. Let’s say it’s to send a check to some organization for some reason. So I’m going to add the task, send cheque to whatever, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, bah bah, bah, bah. So that’s how you add a task.
Now, let’s say that the most urgent thing in my life today, the most important thing in my life today, is to get that LA paper turned in. Then I have to study math, then let’s say I have to deal with my inbox. I know there’s some important emails in there. Then I want to take a break and clean my room and move a little bit. Maybe I need to send that check, but maybe I don’t need to send it until tomorrow or the next day, but it’s got to get done at some point. Maybe checking my grades should be done today but doesn’t have to be done today. Maybe my history project could be done today. In that bio lab, let’s say that I got to get that by lab done. So here are the things. The nice thing about this.
You want to plan your day, every day. Listen, you want to plan your day every day. I don’t care if you use a note card, I don’t care if you use this Google Tasks, Google Keep, I don’t care if you use Trello, or Asana, or some other task management program. I don’t care if you use my Daily Sheets or the Notepad. But every day you share sticky notes, you should plan your day, think about it. What do I have to do tonight? What’s everything I have to do tonight? And here’s the problem. Students that I work with who struggle with executive function will say, “I don’t have anything tonight.” And what they really mean is, “I cannot recall right at this moment that I have any homework right now.” And they’re not thinking about “Do I have any long term things I’m supposed to be working on? I can put those off. Do I have any responsibilities I should work on, I can put that off? Do I have to check my inbox, or my portals, or things like that. So they’re just thinking about these urgent things. That is not a good thing for the brain, because it gets you into a lot of last minute stuff, and then you’re always doing your projects last minute and there’s a lot of stress and lower quality associated with that. So anyhow, you want to plan your day, figure out what you got to do each day, pick which order is important. Now that it’s an order, I know all I got to do is look at everything. So let’s say I finished my math. Boom, done. Finished my LA. Boom, done. I dealt with my inbox. Boom, done. So those completed tasks, it will record for me if I want, I don’t like that. So what I do when they’re done is I delete it. I don’t ever want to think about it again. Now, here I leave it social studies because it’s due. So here’s the social studies, do your history project. Let’s say it was due last week, and it’s done. I would leave it here, but I would delete it from here, personally. You can do whatever you want, but I’m just showing you how I like to do it. So anyhow, now let’s look at this bio. Notice their details here. Why? Because you can click next to it and you can edit it. So in the bio lab here, I can even put a PDF. Here’s a link, here’s the day, here’s the things we need to do. Email my group, just scheduled time, yada, yada, yada. So it’s pretty cool that you can schedule these sub tasks inside of that too.
Then the last thing I want to say is that, when you open this up originally, you’re going to notice that your calendar looks like this usually. And that is not the best way for my eye to see the calendar. So I tell people what we want to do is see the month view the people that I work with. With executive function stuff, the month view is usually the best view because you can see month by month. People who I work with don’t see what’s coming up, they’re only interested in what’s urgent. Like I said before, that’s what my brain works like. But we have to work with a brain and tell the brain, “Look, I’m the boss, not your brain. We’re gonna do things the right way. We’re not going to be resistant to everything. We’re going to try to get things done.”
Anyhow, my name is Seth Perler. Thank you so much for listening. If you like what I’m doing, go ahead to SethPerler.com, you can subscribe. Give it a thumbs up on YouTube, leave your comment. What do you think of this? Do you have any ideas for that sort of a thing that makes life easier, less stressful, more fun, more free for how you manage your projects? I mean, do you use sticky notes or anything creative? How do you? What ideas do you have for people about how to manage this stuff that you don’t want to forget and get zeros on all the time? What ideas do you have for us? Be well, be safe. Have an amazing day. Have some peace of mind, peace in your heart and some joy today. Take care.