I used to tell each of my organizing clients the same thing: “This project, as all projects do, will come down to a Time Management issue. We can make it functional, and make it look pretty, but you will need to devote a bit of time on a regular basis to maintain it. If you feel you don’t have time, we can schedule a Time Management consultation. I also offer a multi-week coaching program.” I also gave them homework (when it seemed necessary, and when it seemed like they might have the wherewithal to do it). Meaning, I was usually the one to make the list of action items. They said “OK”…and sometimes they actually did it! Other times, not so much…
What I say now is this: “Every project has a Time Management component. What actions do you think will move this project forward? WHEN are you going to DO the tasks you have identified? I want you to have your To-Do List and your Calendar handy during each Hands-On Organizing session.” Then I explain why they need a Master To-Do List, from which to choose only a few Daily To-Do items. That’s because NO ONE can finish ALL their To-Dos in one day, and some of them can/should/will end up being purged from the list anyway, via delegating or dumping. Why have the entire list nagging at you every single day? Choosing only a few items per day helps you to focus, and leads to a greater sense of satisfaction!
The idea of incorporating more Time Management into a Hands-On Organizing session was a “takeaway” from the NAPO2012 Conference I attended in Baltimore. (I may be the only one with this particular takeaway, due to other organizers already doing it, or not wanting to do it that way. We’re all different.) It combines elements from Denslow Brown’s Coaching session and Judith Kolberg’s Digital Disorganization session.
The idea is that the more I can help clients generate their own task lists, and the more I can help them develop the habit of creating and scheduling these tasks (or at least capturing them on their Master To-Do List), the more successful they will be in ALL their endeavors.
It’s about time, don’t you think? (pun intended)
I’d especially love to hear what my clients think!
Copyright 2012-2013 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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