Organizing follow through
Organizing follow through is often challenging for people. What keeps you from organizing your to do’s and then following through? You want to get things done and yet the list of to do’s seems never ending! As a Professional Organizer I don’t ise a one size fits all approach because each client is different. You are probably familiar with the basic principles for successfully organizing. They are purging, sorting like items, and containing and creating a place for everything.
Organizing follow through begins with clarifying each client’s unique goals and priorities. It is very helpful to be a former teacher and have the knowledge and experience that every student learns through different modalities. Some learners are stronger auditory learners (hear information and instructions) and others acquire and remember information better when they receive it visually. This relates well to my organizing and time management clients and so it is my job to identify the best ways to help each individual set up systems for organizing.
It is equally important to acknowledge that everyone learns at a different pace. Learning the new habits for organizing is just the first step. The critical step is to remember to use the steps and maintain these new habits over time until they become more natural and routine. Some people learn more quickly than others and others get stuck in old habits without the benefit of having an accountability partner who is there to help them maintain the systems.
Follow through is often the most challenging aspect of organizing and time management. Having a to do’s written down can be a good visual but unless each action item is scheduled to be done on a specific day and time they are unlikely to get done. Even with these kinds of systems some clients struggle with follow through and admit that unless someone is there to “make them” do it, they will not follow through. When this is the case I act as a “body double” and help the person to prioritize each task, estimate how long it will take to do it, and then begin to do each one, one at a time. I will sit with them and have them make the call they’ve been procrastinating about, or send the email, fill out the form, etc. It may sound silly for an adult to need that kind of support but in fact it helps the person to stop feeling overwhelmed and begin to accomplish their to do’s.