Staying organised helps perform better

Staying organised helps perform better

Children with better organising skills often perform better in assignments, get things done in time and have more free time to pursue new hobbies.

Crumpled assignment and test sheets, school announcements from two months ago, missing house keys, stationery that went missing months ago, clothes and books strewn all around the room — does this sound too familiar? 

Not everyone is a neat freak or organised and though it is not necessarily bad, it definitely has some downsides. Children who are weak in organising their space tend to struggle with handling information in an effective and logical way even at school. They often face difficulty in setting priorities, making goals and sticking to them. 

Even at school, being organised is one of the key factors to ensure a successful year. It is often noticed that children with better organising skills often perform better in assignments, get things done in time and have more free time to pursue new hobbies. On the other hand, not being well organised can result in lower grades, increased frustration and even lower self-esteem.

Staying organised can help one lead a better life. Here are some ways in which you and your child can start being more organised:

Designated study space

Assign a space within your home that is well–lit, uncluttered and free of distraction as the designated study space for your child. An organised study space puts your child in the right mood, boosts their productivity and helps achieve better results. Let them use this space to express themselves — put up motivational quotes, posters. Encourage them to write down their goals and dreams. One is more likely to achieve his or her goals when they are written down.

Equip their room with a good quality whiteboard film which can be used to teach them concepts, practice what they learn or put up their schedule.

Clear out the clutter

Make it a habit to work with your child to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter from the study area such as rough sheets, used up stationery etc. Don’t wait for the end of the academic year to do this. A cluttered study space is distracting as your child will end up wasting a lot of his or her time looking for important materials around the room.

Use stationery caddies to keep all the necessary stationery together in one place. This not only helps the child to locate them easily but will also help you keep a track of the resources available. By keeping items in the same spot, the chances of losing them also reduce.

Use hooks to assign a designated space for everything around the room — be it bags, ID cards, their medals etc. 

You can also avoid piling up of rough notes and rough sheets by replacing them with erasable whiteboard films. Your child can use this board to practice that difficult math problem or chemistry equation again and again until your child aces it!

Co-create to-do lists

Sit with your child and put together daily and weekly to-do lists for homework, tests and assignments. Make sure you prepare this on A4 sheet or A4 whiteboard film that can be stuck on their study table so that they don’t lose sight.

Make sure you involve them in making the list so that they feel accountable for it. Make sure you incorporate time for them to spend some time on their hobbies. 

Being organised should not only limit to keeping your surrounding clean and orderly, but it can be used to keep one’s thoughts in order, which makes retrieving the right information in this era of information overload and using it effectively a lot less stressful.

Smart study techniques

Students have more and more to do every year. With an increased focus on testing, students need to take note of all of the important information covered in class to be prepared on exam day. One of the best ways to tackle these exams is through organisation. 

Colourful flags are an excellent way to note important information in a text for studying later. This is a great alternative to using a highlighter because it does not change the book. Once a term has been studied or a test taken, these flags can be removed and placed in another area of the book for the next unit. 

Sticky notes are another great way to add ideas to a textbook without actually altering the book. Sometimes notes are added to a page for clarification. As a student, it might be easier to just add a sentence or two to get a sense of the text. A sticky note might be needed to make reference to the notes on a particular day. Sticky notes can be used to jot down ideas to be referenced later.

Encourage them to use page markers to keep a tab on the pages that are most important to them. You can just add a page marker and come back to it later. The multicoloured page markers also allow students to colour coordinate their notes, so they know exactly what they are noting. They can also be used to label their textbook or notes and come back to it when they are ready to study.

Opt for a whiteboard film that can be stuck on your child’s study table. They can use this to write and practice concepts while studying. They are erasable and can be used multiple times, and they help in retaining concepts better. 

Being organised is not an inherited trait and it can be learned. So, it becomes even more important that your child is regularly developing and practising good habits like organising his or her study table, wardrobe and bookshelf etc. Parents play a very important role in helping and guiding their child in the right direction. By teaching the child how to stay organised, you can help him or her perform better in school. 

(The writer is executive director,  Consumer Business, 3M India)