Dr. Melissa’s Current Seminar List

The courses below are ready to be delivered to your organization, department, or team.  Most seminars are one to two hours in length and can accommodate as many participants as your training room can seat.

The ROI of Time Management


Many professionals have more work to do than time to complete it.  Time and task management are critical competencies for professional success and work/life balance.  However, it is hard to allocate time to plan and organize.  Dr. Melissa Gratias knows the time management activities that have the biggest “bang for the buck” and will guide you through making informed choices about where to invest your efforts.


This two-hour course will help you:

  • Diagnose your personal time management difficulties
  • Reorient yourself toward the time management choices, activities and tools that produce optimal results
  • Set goals and devise action strategies to implement meaningful improvements


The Superhero Power of Setting Goals


There is no better way to direct and focus your efforts than to set goals, but there is a right way to do it.  In this two-hour workshop, Dr. Melissa addresses the dos and don’ts of creating goals that will transform your business and life.


Participants will learn:

  • Why goal setting works and when it doesn’t
  • The three critical elements of a goal that research shows will lead to success
  • When you should abandon or revise your goals
  • How to set goals without getting overwhelmed

The Psychology of Productivity


Getting organized at work is an emotionally-laden journey for many businesspeople. In this one-hour keynote, Dr. Melissa describes five case studies of clients whose experiences and results will resonate with and inspire you. Sometimes the biggest hurdle is your own brain.


Crazy Productive Tips for Microsoft Outlook


Outlook has lots of great features to help you be organized – if you know where to look for them.  This two-hour class is hands-on and packed with practical tips that participants can use every day to manage their email and their time.  Training is available for Outlook for PC desktop versions.


Topics covered include:

  • Mail advanced features, many of which will be new even to experienced users
  • Calendar essentials, including appointments, meetings, and sharing
  • People, including contact management, distribution lists, and sharing
  • Tasks, including best practices for task creation and task management

Manage Your Time with Outlook Tasks


Of all the electronic time management tools available, few offer the ability to simultaneously manage to-do items and email better than Outlook Tasks. This one or two-hour seminar takes a deep-dive into the functionality of Outlook Tasks and teaches participants to use some of the features as they are intended, and to tweak others to improve usability of the tool.  Training is available for Outlook for PC desktop versions.

Conquer Your Email Today…Because There Is No Tomorrow


Email can be an excellent communication tool as well as a time consuming chore.  The volume of email is steadily increasing while our ability to manage it is being reduced due to competing demands for our time.  The two-hour seminar teaches participants the skills they need to simplify the emails they send, receive and retain.


Participants will learn:

  • Best practices for using email as a communication tool
  • Proven techniques to reduce the amount of email you receive
  • How to determine what emails to keep and delete, and where to file them
  • Tips for living within company-imposed mailbox size limits

How to Create Productive Workflows With an Assistant


Not so much a training class as a facilitated discussion, this two-hour meeting is designed for executives and their assistants together.  The executive-assistant teams leave the meeting with an Expectations Document containing the workflows that they constructed.  Because of the hands-on nature of this meeting, there is a maximum of four teams per session.


Workflows are constructed in the following areas:

  • Email management
  • Calendar and meeting management
  • The 15-minute morning launch
  • Task management
  • And much more…

Maximize Your Meetings


Meetings are expensive and often wasteful. This one-hour seminar provides guidance for you as both a meeting owner and meeting participant to maximize the return on investment (ROI) of your time and that of others in a meeting.


Topics covered include:

  • How to avoid “pointless gatherings” of highly-paid people
  • Essentials of meeting documentation and follow-up
  • Tips for getting runaway train meetings back on track
  • The beauty and value of meeting charters
  • Conducting a meeting audit to determine where your time is best spent

Rituals that WORK: How to Gain Control of Your Time


A ritual is, by definition, a series of steps that is followed faithfully. In this one-hour seminar, you will learn how to incorporate rituals into your work to keep your to-do list updated, calendar managed, and fires extinguished before they even start.


Topics covered include:

  • How to take advantage of our natural human tendencies to follow rituals
  • The most productive ways to start and end your work days
  • How to stay on track with goals, metrics, and projects
  • The importance of flexibility and the trap of perfectionism

Workplace Interruptions: You Don’t Have to Be a Victim


Workplace interruptions are often a productivity-stealing substitute for good time management behaviors.  In this two-hour course, participants will learn to reduce superfluous interruptions before they start and deal more effectively with them when they occur.


Topics covered include:

  • Minimizing self-interruptions and convenience interruptions
  • Changing the culture of interruptions in your team
  • Reducing the damage caused by interruptions
  • Understanding the psychological and productivity benefits of focus

Project Management for Regular Folks


Managing projects is becoming a part of most every businessperson’s job.  This two-hour introductory course for people who manage projects as a part of their regular jobs reviews the basic components of managing and organizing projects including:

  • Scoping a project to prevent scope creep
  • Task tracking to keep projects moving forward
  • Meeting management that facilitates communication
  • Results reporting to project sponsors and stakeholders

Electronic Files:  How to Avoid a Digital Junkyard


Does your company (or department) have a shared network drive?  Has it gotten out of control?  This two-hour course will help teams and/or departments:

  • Organize large amounts of electronic records
  • Clarify file ownership and shared server etiquette
  • Encourage file sharing even if associates fear doing so
  • Specify naming conventions for files that facilitate search and retrieval
  • Reduce duplication in electronic files across servers and file formats


This course is particularly relevant to companies who plan to migrate their electronic files to a document management system and can be customized to train participants on the migration.