This is a visual approach for managing chores and other tasks. It is borrowed from the world of business task management but works equally well in the home. The idea is to write down on sticky notes a task or chore that needs to be done and the person responsible for doing it. E.g. 'Tidy your bedroom'. This is placed on the board with the simple headings 'To Do', 'Doing' and 'Done'. There is also a fourth heading 'Blocked' where a task note can be placed when it can't be achieved.
This can be as simple as some blank wall space with the title labels stuck on with Blue Tack to a magnetic whiteboard with permanently drawn neat dividing lines. It doesn't matter as long as the space is large enough to provide room for messages for all the family.
The concept was originally designed around using sticky notes to convey messages and progress towards task competion. Sticky notes work very well and by using different colours you can differentiate them for each family member. Alternatively, you may want to create some permanent labels for regular chores and tasks. Using pictures or even photographs can be useful for young children and also older children with social communication difficulties. With home made labels you have the option of personalising them with your child's favourite character. This can help differentiate them between individual family members and may also motivate more interest and acceptance of the Do-Doing-Done Board.
Hopefully most tasks and chores are fairly straight forward and easy to complete. However, there will be some tasks or chores that are either more complex or rely on resources that may run out or be otherwise not available. Homework is one task that might cause a problem from time to time. For example, not remembering how to solve a problem or needing an online resource when the school website isn't working. Tasks placed in the 'Blocked' area will usually require parent intervention and support to resolve. With older children and teenagers it is important that a note explaining why the task can't be done is written. When supporting children with blocked tasks it is important to enable them to complete it rather than taking over. Help them to work out a solution that 'unblocks' the task.
Why use the Do-Doing-Done Board?
Nagging children and teenagers to do chores etc is not fun for anyone. It is easy to get frustrated with continually reminding children and these interactions are quite often not positive and sometimes cause upset and meltdowns. Using a visual system helps to reduce some of this negativity by taking the interpersonal part of the reminder away. Things that are written down are often perceived as more real and important. It conveys a reinforcing message: 'If it is written down they must mean it'. It leaves no room for doubt about whether they have been asked to do the task. There isn't the 'wiggle room' that children often look for in avoiding tasks.