Being organized and having a plan is something very closely linked with success. You can examine the profiles of some of the most respected and successful individuals, and what you will find is that almost all of them have a certain schedule they stick to. They are micro-managers of their daily activities, and understand the value of time. It’s important that children are instilled with organizational skills at a young age as it will be crucial when they enter college, and subsequently, their careers.
Chaos – The Default State
Children are chaotic in their natural state. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. Some children are naturally more prone to developing organizational skills at an early age than others. This however doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get “regular” children to do chores and get them done within a specific time frame. Teaching kids to organize may seem like a very demanding task, but it’s relatively easy when you set some simple rules and apply tools to begin with.
Here we outline certain activities to teach organizational skills to your child in a way that it flows into their nature seamlessly.
1. Plan Your Day Before You Go to Sleep
A lot of children are immersed in a sea of chaos as soon as they wake up. As a consequence, your child ends up missing breakfast, forgetting stuff for school, and feeling exhausted before the day has even begun. Make your child prepare for the day ahead before they go to bed. Finished homework and notebooks need to be packed in the bag. Clothes and accessories should be laid out on a table ready to wear the next day. This way, you cut out the early morning drama and your child starts the day with focused energy.
2. Introduce the Checklist
Get your child a large pad or a small notebook. You can get one for yourself as well and show him/her how you list out your “to-do” list. You can make them list out the chores that need to be done around the house, homework, and other personal goals. Make sure they cross out completed tasks until the list is done. This activity works immensely to foster positivity and a feeling of accomplishment.
3. The Study Room
There’s something about a dedicated physical space that enhances your sense of purpose. This is why a study room is very important to get your child develop organizational skills. Make sure your child studies in the same space every day. This helps your child compartmentalize work time and free time. Obviously the room needs to be a quiet place with minimal distractions and good air flow. You need to fix a designated study time to be spent in the room. Do not encourage your child to be in study mode for more than the stipulated time. This can give way to mismanagement of time.
4. The Family Calendar
Draw up a big calendar and place it on the wall of your dining room or kitchen, where all family members tend to hang out together. Mark up exam dates, school holidays, office holidays, assignment due dates, bill payment dates, and whatever dates you need to remember. This allows all the family members to keep track of what everybody is doing.
5. Support System
Most important of all, you have to be the change you want to see in your children. You have to be behind them a lot in the beginning, but in a positive way. Make sure they have a fresh checklist to work on every day, help them with marking important dates on the calendar, and stress on keeping your child’s stuff neat and organized. It helps a lot if you’re already doing what you want your kids to do.
You can use these activities to inculcate a sense of time management and help develop organizational skills in your children at a very young age. This is irrevocably going to go a long way in helping your child achieve her/his full potential.