Louisville teacher helps women overcome brain fog


‘Write it down and keep everything in one place’

After 25 years in the classroom, Laura Noe of Louisville founded Learning Boost in 2014, to help students overcome learning disabilities and improve time management. Over the last five years, Noe realized it’s not just kids who need help managing their time. Adults also began asking how they could be more efficient.

 

 

 

 

In fact, Noe, 51, noticed she was struggling with time management herself. Once uber organized and efficient, she got distracted more often, struggled with deadlines and was working longer hours getting less done. She knew the culprit was age and perimenopause.

“Brain fog is real,” Noe said. “Just as I was experiencing this, my friends were sharing similar stories.”

Many of us have perimenopause and menopause to thank. As estrogen levels decline, many women talk about being more forgetful and feeling distracted.

Pauline M. Maki, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a 2018 New York Times article that  “not only do women more frequently report cognitive difficulties as they transition from premenopause to perimenopause to postmenopause, but they also perform more poorly on standardized neuropsychological tests, particularly tests of verbal memory, aspects of executive function, and processing speed.”

While some women with severe cases may need medical attention, many women find success by changing the way they plan their days.

Noe’s own experience combined with questions she was getting from friends and parents inspired her to create a time-management course for adults. Noe provides one-on-one and group workshops (offered both online and in-person) to help people learn how to better manage their time, so they are able to be more efficient completing tasks, while also making sure to schedule time for things they want to do.

“People get paralyzed and what will happen is people will do things that hit them in the face…then there’s all these things they didn’t get done and then feeling like they didn’t have time to do anything they enjoyed,” Noe said. “People will say, I don’t have time to spend with my friends, I don’t have time to exercise.”

Chances are good they do have time, they just aren’t using their time wisely or efficiently.

It all begins with writing down all your appointments, your to-do list, your wine night, book clubs, exercise – whatever it is you have to do and want to do – in a single calendar. You can’t have one notebook for work, one for family, Noe says. 

Before ever creating the course, Noe went through her own journey learning what works and what doesn’t. She remembers using post-it notes as her to-do list. She’d leave work notes in her office and personal notes on the fridge. It got to the point she couldn’t keep track of what she had to do.

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