Children’s Activity: Planning and Organising Time

Did you ever struggle to get organised?

Faced with lots to do, one of a number of things happen:

  • Some people dig deep, get things in order and get going
  • Some people look at it, feel like it’s impossible and find something else to do
  • Some people feel completely overwhelmed and are frozen in anxiety/panic/tears

So, how can we help young people to feel that it is possible to get everything done?  From homework to revision, activities to deadlines, if we know how to plan effectively it can help us to take back control and get things done. Bringing an end to some procrastination and developing some motivation in it’s place. Lets start with a story….

The Story (By Dr S. Covey):

One day this expert was speaking to a group of students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration that I’m sure those students will never forget.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered over-achievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone in the class said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was onto him. “Probably not,” one of them answered. “Good!” he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”

“No!” the class shouted. Once again he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

What are the big rocks in your life? A project that you want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these Big Rocks in first or you’ll never get them in at all.

What to do:

#1 – Download our Weekly Planner – here 

#2 – Download our Big Rocks, Small Rocks Top Tips – here

#3 – Track your daily tasks on a separate piece of paper including a due date

#4 – Allocate it to the day it needs to be completed, aim at completing 1-2 pieces a day – avoid letting things build up and becoming overwhelming

#5 – Priority work ‘1’ is work or tasks that are non-negotiable

#6 – Priority work ‘2’ is work or tasks that are non-negotiable

#7 -Add any dates to be remembered – key events – thinks to check or appointments in here


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Further help 

For more articles about mental health visit – HERE 

To learn more about child and adolescent mental health visit – HERE

For resources to support child and adolescent mental health visit – HERE

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