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How Adults Can Support Organization & Time Management


Study Skills & Tools All Ages Strategy


Self-regulation Organization Attention

How Adults Can Support Organization & Time Management

If your student is disorganized or has difficulty with time management

What It Is

Organizational skills include keeping your items in order and organizing your thoughts to write and speak clearly. Students can struggle with time management and organizational skills for a variety of reasons. Some just need to be taught and encouraged to use the right tools. Others, usually those with weaker executive functions, might need more continual reminders and support both home at school. It is critical to recognize that there is no single best tool or way to be organized -- everyone needs to find their own unique approach so adults should not force a single "right way". The goal is for adults to help students find an approach that works and then help the student stick to it. And if it stops working, be flexible and try something new.

Tools To Help Students Stay Organized

  1. Daily planners can help students remember what they need and when. Traditional paper-based schedules tend to be more effective than digital because they are easier to view multiple days out. Additionally, the act of writing things down will help students remember on their own. Crossing off gives a sense of accomplishment. While paper is preferred, the reality is that most students might want to go digital. It might be best to let them try out digital options and see if they work. Here are some better options for digital calendars and planners.
  2. Checklists can be one of the most effective tools for organizing belongings on a daily basis to double-checking work on homework assignments.
  3. No one enjoys cleaning up, but keeping papers and desk organized will save students time overall and reduce stress. Use these strategies to keep an organized homework space.
  4. Use a visual timer during homework or chores to help students recognize when they are taking too long or moving too quickly. Here are some good options for timers.
  5. Graphic organizers and visual timelines can help students organize ideas and present them in a logical sequence. In this case, digital options can be better because they allow students to easily organize and reorganize until they find an appropriate structure (in contrast to erasing or crossing out, which can get messy and confusing). Here are options for graphic organizers.