Be Strategic

We were discussing time management strategies and Carleen sent out the following link….
Be Strategic

ADD Management Guide

How To Start the New Year Right
Hi Carleen,
This is the last ADD Management Guide for 2011! When we return in 2012, it will be with a brand new website, and a totally revamped newsletter will soon follow. We’ve been working very hard to create the new site, which will be “Your Go-to Guide for Managing Adult ADHD.” I’ll be writing you when it launches on January 1, so keep a look out!

In the meantime, this is a great time to talk about the coming New Year, and how to start it out on the right foot.

2012 is just 5 days away. And before you jump into the new year with all sorts of thoughts about resolutions and changes you want to make, it’s important to first take time to reflect on the year that has passed.

As the New Year approaches, we often find ourselves thinking about all the things we didn’t accomplish the prior year, and we vow to accomplish them next year. Few of us take the time to reflect on the past year and look at our successes and the experiences that we have learned from.

So here’s a coaching exercise that will help you reflect on what’s really important to you, and create meaningful intentions for 2012. It is this kind of self-awareness that ultimately leads to action in the areas of your life that are most important to you.

To do this coaching exercise, set aside 15-30 minutes to think about, write about, or talk about your answers to the following questions:

Looking back on 2011…

1.    What were your successes?
2.    What did you do or accomplish that you haven’t given yourself credit for?
3.    What unrealistic expectations did you hold yourself to?
4.    What one thing would you do over, if given the opportunity?
5.    What lessons did you learn from that experience?

Looking forward in 2012…
1.    What one goal did you want to accomplish in 2011 that you weren’t able to?
2.    Why was this goal important to you?
3.    What got in your way of achieving this goal?
4.    What are you willing to do differently to accomplish this goal in the future?

Looking at yourself…
1.    Who are the people that you are most grateful for?
2.    Which of your strengths and skills are you most grateful for?
3.    What is your best quality?
4.    How will you use these strengths, skills, and qualities to help you move forward in the coming year?

Would you like to share what comes up for you in this coaching exercise?
If so, please feel free to post your thoughts and reflections on my blog!
ADD Management Guide
We maintain a little staff blog for sharing ideas and inspiration without cluttering and overwhelming our in-box’s and this was a bit that Carleen put out recently that seemed like a good thing to share…..
Atul Gawande gave a talk at the Harvard Medical School Commencement and it’s called Cowboys and Pit Crews.  Here’s the little related to our world excerpt that I liked:
Not long ago, I had an experience at our local school that brought home the stakes. I’d gone for a meeting with my children’s teachers, and I ran into the superintendent of schools. I told him how worried I was to see my kids’ art classes cut and their class sizes rise to almost 30 children in some cases. What was he working on to improve matters, I asked?
You know what I spend my time working on, he said? Health care costs.
Teachers’ health benefit expenses were up nine percent, city tax revenues were flat, and school enrollment was up. A small percentage of teachers with serious illnesses accounted for the majority of the costs, and the only option he’d found was to cut their benefits.
“Oh,” I said.
I went to the teacher meetings. On the way, I ran into a teacher that I had operated on. She’d had a lymphoma. She was one of that small percentage who accounted for most of the costs. That’s when it struck me. I was part of the reason my children didn’t have enough teachers. We all are in medicine. Reports show that every dollar added to school budgets over the last decade for smaller class sizes and better teacher pay was diverted to covering rising health care costs.
This is not inevitable. I do not believe society should be forced to choose between whether our children get a great education or their teachers get great medical care. But only we can create the local medical systems that make both possible. You who graduate today will join these systems are they are born, propel them, work on the policies that accelerate them, and create the innovations they need. Making systems work in health care—shifting from corralling cowboys to producing pit crews—is the great task of your and my generation of clinicians and scientists.
Closing paragraph:  Recently, you might be interested to know, I met an actual cowboy. He described to me how cowboys do their job today, herding thousands of cattle. They have tightly organized teams, with everyone assigned specific positions and communicating with each other constantly. They have protocols and checklists for bad weather, emergencies, the inoculations they must dispense. Even the cowboys, it turns out, function like pit crews now. It may be time for us to join them.

Making Work Pay Tax Credit

Here’s an article from Carleen, Accountant (AKA Bean Counter for the Arts).

How will the Making Work Pay tax credit affect you?

Most wage earners will benefit immediately — or already have — with a larger paycheck as a result of the changes made to the federal income tax withholding tables to implement the Making Work Pay tax credit. Some people may find that the changes built into the withholding tables result in less tax being withheld than they prefer.

If you’re not eligible for the Making Work Pay tax credit, withholding changes could mean a smaller refund next spring. A limited number of people, including those who usually receive very small refunds, could in some situations owe a small amount rather than receiving a refund. Those who should pay particular attention to their withholding include:

• Pensioners (see more information under Pensioners, below)
• Married couples with two incomes
• Individuals with multiple jobs
• Dependents
• Some Social Security recipients who work
• Workers without valid Social Security numbers

The Making Work Pay tax credit, normally a maximum of $400 for working individuals and $800 for working married couples, is reduced by the amount of any Economic Recovery Payment ($250 per eligible recipient of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement or Veteran’s benefits) or Special Credit for Certain Government Retirees ($250 per eligible federal or state retiree) that you receive. If you are affected by this reduction, you should review your withholding to ensure that sufficient funds have been withheld to meet your tax obligation.

If you believe your current withholding is not appropriate for your personal situation, you can perform a quick check using the IRS withholding calculator. If you are not familiar with the withholding calculator, watch this IRS how-to video for instructions. When you have determined your correct withholding, make any adjustments by filing a revised Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, with your employer.

Here’s an MP3 to listen to about this:

Making Work Pay Tax Credit