Some ideas to increase the likelihood that your child will do as asked.
Plan your instructions
1. How important is the instruction?
Is the action something the child really must do, or can your child choose whether to do it? If it is not desirable that your child has a choice, then you have to give a direct instructioni.
2. Give your child one instruction at a time.
Sometimes parents fall into the trap of giving too much instructions (sometime similar to the action of micro managing). This will make the child confused (and also think of you as a nag). Wait for your child to finish one instruction first before giving them another one (you wouldn't want your boss to give you multiple instructions at a time do you?).
3. Give your child instructions at the appropriate time.
Sometimes we really need to consider whether it is really important for your child to carry out the instruction immediately (for example getting your child to help take down the clothes from the hanging area when he is watching his favourite show). It's sometimes useful to give the instruction at the time just before you want him to carry out the action.
4. Give realistic tasks to your child.
It is important that the task is within the capability of your child. Try not asking your child to do something he can't do (Duh.. but you'll be amazed how much this happens). A young child can be expected to help out a bit with the chores but not do everything (unless you are a slave driver).
5. Give your child ample time to complete the task.
If you are asking your child to do tasks that take some time (e.g. cleaning his room), try to give him enough time (which is realistic) to complete the task before giving him another instruction.
6. Identify whether your child needs help to complete the tasks.
Your child might not be keen to do certain tasks if they are too difficult to do (would you?). However they might be able to carry out parts of the task. Hence it's time to use your expertise as a nimble adult to assist them in parts of the task that they may have difficulty doing. For e.g. helping your child to take out the clothes from the cabinet, so he can choose and wear them.
Guidelines for giving instructions to your children:
1. Using your body
Make sure you are close to your child when you are giving him the instruction, preferably at eye contact (which means you might have to bend down or lower yourself a bit). This will ensure that your child is able to understand the message. For me, this idea of being close to your child is similar to some attachment ideas I read about, where we as primary (or secondary) caregivers need to establish closeness with our children so that they feel secure enough to hear our instructions
2. Use a pleasant tone of voice.
Some people (me included) might prefer a sterner more condescending tone, but this act is also important to communicate the love and care we have for our children, whilst also sticking to the need to ensure that they follow certain instructions. It's useful to also use your child's name when starting the instruction.
3. Wait for a response
Unless you want to be called a naggo, wait some time before repeating the instruction if your child does not respond immediately. Let your child process the information first.
4. Give the good ol' positive consequence.
They carried out the instruction? Good! Then it's time for us to reward them with a positive consequence. A simple praise goes a long way. Ps: when's the last time you praised someone?