A lot of us know our zodiac sign, but do we know our learning style? Simply put, we all learn differently. Our learning style is the way we best receive and process information. The three main learning styles are Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic.
While we all utilize different learning styles at different times, there is one that reigns supreme when it comes to how we learn best. What you may not realize is how your learning style comes into play in all different areas of your life. Our learning style has everything to do with the spaces we create. It impacts how we explore new ideas, grasp new concepts, and obtain new information. It also plays a large role in our productivity and how we relate to our work (home or office) environment.
If you don’t know your learning style, start by taking this quiz. Once you know your learning style, read below for some of my favorite ways to incorporate it into your spaces, both at home or at the office. Incorporating changes based on learning styles into my clients’ spaces ensures that the space is customized to them and them alone.
You like to SEE things. You process information best when you are able to see it with your own eyes.
Three Tips for Creating a Space Conducive for Visual Learners
- Avoid stacking trays: All but the top tray is like a black hole for visual people! Try using clear bins instead, which let you see what’s inside. For desk-top papers or action files, use vertical file holders. Since your learning style is visual, use labels to identify what is in the bins you use. Labels help you feel more organized and eliminate confusion.
- Color coding is your friend: Color coding makes your visual learning heart sing! Use labels, markers, post-its, or your organizational tool of choice to color code your schedule, items, and documents. Designate different colors for different responsibilities, sections, or categories. Find a system that works for you.
- Create a space with good lighting: Can you clearly see all parts of your office? Good lighting is an energy booster and benefits visual learners. Take it one step further by incorporating various sources of light by combining sunlight with different lamps. Aside from various means of light, lighting can also be used as a decorative tool to make your space visually appealing and reflect who you are as an individual.
You like to HEAR things. You process information best when you are able to hear it with your own ears.
Three Tips for Creating a Space Conducive for Auditory Learners
- Make lists and read them out loud: Keep a notepad nearby on your desk, or utilize your phone, and go through your current notes each day. Reading your lists out loud, and then summarizing and recording what you need to remember, will help keep you on track. When organizing an office or setting up systems, say the steps out loud or to a friend or coworker to better retain the information.
- Invest in high-quality headphones: You love music, but you don’t love the environmental distractions around you! Whether you work in an office or at home, sounds like phones ringing, doors shutting, or cars driving by can prove to be too distracting for auditory learners. Invest in a good pair of headphones that let you enjoy your music, white noise, or instrumental songs as you concentrate on the tasks at hand.
- Try a smart pen: Finding a smart pen that records and digitizes your notes can help you retain pertinent information as you write and listen back later. Here’s a list of some of the top pens in 2019.
You learn by DOING things. You process information best when you’re able to move.
Three Tips for Creating a Space Conducive for Kinesthetic Learners
- Divide your work into short segments: Once you’ve completed each segment of work, reward yourself with time away from your desk. Things like a quick 30-second stretch or a 5-minute walk can help you get your energy out and refocus when you move onto the next task.
- Use a standing desk or another active desk solution: Switching up your normal desk to one that allows you to stand (or even bike, like this one!) allows you that activity you crave. Even replacing your chair with an active option like an exercise ball can help cure your itch to move during the workday and can help you focus.
- Use texture in your office or home: Adding items like wicker baskets, leather planners, or pens with thick grips can help add texture to your space. Differing textures appeal to Kinesthetic learners, as you tend to enjoy touching, feeling, and manipulating objects as a way of learning and connecting.
Knowing yourself and your learning style is truly helpful in setting yourself up for success. Especially as a small business owner or entrepreneur, creating spaces that are conducive to your success and productivity are essential.
What type of learner are you? Do you notice how it impacts the way you work and learn? How will you implement any of these ideas into your home or office?
Let the creative space designing begin!
Kerry Thomas, owner of Conquer the Chaos LLC, earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Special Education at the University of Florida. She taught for 8 years before launching her own organizing business in 2007. In 2014, Kerry completed a rigorous training program to become a Certified Productive Environment Specialist™. Kerry uses this training to help her clients create and maintain systems that address their individual issues.
Kerry specializes in helping small business owners with ADD, and believes that anyone can have a productive environment, all it takes is the right combination of tools and techniques. She uses her background in special education to individualize her client’s systems based on learning style and innate strengths. She is passionate about helping clients optimize their environments, personal or professional, for productivity, success, and inner peace.
Kerry has spoken and taught workshops to groups such as Hewlett Packard, Northern Virginia Birth Services, Loudoun Business Women, Long and Foster, Arcola UMC, American Disposal, and numerous networking groups. She also had the honor of speaking at the inaugural TEDx Ashburn event in April 2017.
You can reach Kerry through her website www.ctcorganizing.com.