Take control of documents that stream in and out
every day with one or more of these tools.
Like the targeted storage solutions she recommends to homeowners with disorganized rooms,
Jenkins begins her work with disorganized students by
thoroughly assessing their challenges, personalities,
and preferences. Based on the work of educational
experts Katherine Benziger and Lanna Nakone, who
explore the connections between brain activity and
personality, Jenkins invests significant time identifying each student’s thinking style. The portions
of your brain that you naturally prefer using—left
or right, front or back—impact how you work best.
Knowing which of four thinking-style profiles you
most closely match leads to specific strategies for how
you can best manage paper and time. “And if you can
manage your paper and your time effectively, you’re on
your way to a more organized life,” Jenkins says.
Early on, Jenkins introduces her clients two or
three approaches to managing paper, maintaining a
schedule, and establishing home study zones. They
discuss pros and cons of each option, and eventually
the student picks the version that seems to best fit.
To most parents’ relief, Jenkins’ recommendations
rarely require costly supplies or furnishings. Discount
and office supply stores offer nearly all the necessary
tools to optimize a student’s backpack or set up an
easy-to-maintain home filing system. You certainly
can invest in a beautiful desk for a child’s bedroom,
but if his or her thinking style doesn’t mesh with
sitting alone in one spot to complete tasks, your efforts
are likely in vain. “Is your goal for your child to sit at a
desk—or to do his or her homework?” Jenkins asks. A
better option for some kids might be a worktable in a
corner of the family room, a bookcase brimming with
resources, or a portable caddy with frequently used
supplies. In the end, your choices all come back to the
student. “It doesn’t really matter what specific shape
students’ organizing systems take, just that they make
sense to them,” Jenkins says. n
Drop papers into
slot and go. Look
abbed folders for
Fill these classic
and folders. Try
one big binder for
multiple subjects or
several small ones
for each subject.
Stash papers for
in these labeled
with a desktop
sorter or a box with
Make the most of each month, week, day, hour,
and minute with these three helpers.
Get a bird’s-eye
view of your
schedule and make
Of course tech
but print versions
Break down tasks
into small bites.
Look for versions
with prompts for
weekly, daily, and
even hourly goals.
A classic analog
each passing min.
help you create and
achieve small goals.
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