She took to organization like a duck to water with her first job in human resources. When Leslie Josel was called in to figure out how employees could be more efficient, she turned to the organization of the internal systems workers were using to complete their tasks. “It was like a puzzle and I was there to put all the pieces in the right place.”
But when her son was diagnosed with Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD) at 5 years old, she wasn’t sure how to proceed. This was different. So Leslie went to the library and to the web immersing herself in research, attending multiple conferences and seminars. She realized she needed to untangle her son’s world and create efficient systems in her own home that would help him function effectively.
Reorganizing the entire house with a place for everything, check lists for daily tasks and concrete one step processes for her son to find things, Leslie created a calm ordered environment in their home. “When you ask an ADD child to clean up their room, they get distracted and can’t move forward. But when they have plastic bins clearly labeled for pjs, socks, and t-shirts, it becomes easy from them to see what needs to be done,” she says.
When a friend saw how Leslie had calmed her life and helped her son through organization, she asked Leslie to do the same thing for her. Word got out and a week later she got four phone calls asking for help from other families with attention deficit children. “But I don’t do this for a living,” she told her husband. His response, “You do now.”
Still in human resources working three days a week, she began her organization career on the other two days. Not leaving her “real job” until the new venture was strong enough, Leslie had time to build her business and get her venture up and running. And because she lived the experience of having an ADD child, she was personally able to relate to other families who were struggling. She had a specialty that helped her garner clients.
“The minute I walk into a child’s room, I can see what needs to be done. First thing is to take off the closet doors, when the child can see where everything goes and where everything is – it has a calming effect. Their environment becomes more manageable.”
It’s now been over 13 years since she went “all in” with her own venture and she now has 6 employees. She is also an academic/life coach, an award-winning author and acclaimed international speaker. She created the Academic Planner: A Tool for Time Management®, a planner that helps students develop and master time management skills, and is the author of “What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management”, a parents guide to help teach their students the time management skills they need to succeed.
A respected resource on ADHD and Executive Functioning in students, Leslie writes a weekly column called “Dear Organizing Coach by Leslie Josel” for ADDitude Magazine, the premiere resource for adults and children with ADHD and LD. She is also a contributing writer for Family Circle Magazine and writes about a wide variety of topics facing parents and their kids today. And she was recently awarded her industry’s highest honor, the Founder’s Award, given to an individual who as made a significant impact on the productivity and organizing industry. Leslie says, “Never in a million years did I think I’d be where I am today.”
Leslie says that when she teaches students the skills they need to be successful in school and in life, she learns something new each time. “As much as I give, I get back in spades.” With a virtual business, numerous writing projects, speaking engagements, two children, and a proud husband, she is one organized women.
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