How To Choose The Right Organizer or Productivity Consultant: Part 1 – Client Goals

You’ve made the decision to move forward with a professional organizer and productivity consultant. Below are my top three tips to ensure that the odds of success are as high as possible when working with a productivity professional.

1. Determine your Level of Involvement

Decide how involved you, as the client, would like to be. Client involvement spans the spectrum from involved at every step of the way to only participating as needed. The level of involvement depends on the client’s wishes, and organizers who know what they’re doing can work with clients at all levels of participation.

As an organizer, I work with a full spectrum of clients – those who are involved at every step of the way, to clients who only want to provide minimal input on the organizing process. A good organizing & productivity consultant will know how to work in either of these circumstances, and in every permutation (different word, please) in between.

2. Set your Goals

Be specific, clear, and detailed about what your goals for your space and time are. Do you want a picture-perfect space, a space that functions well and looks lived in, or something else? Does your calendar need to be full every day, or do you want some down time? Knowing what you want for your space and time clarifies the process for the organizer so she and her staff focus on what matters to you and spend minimal time and resources on things that provide less value to you.

3. Commit to Change

Although you may start out with clear goals for what you want in your space, time, and files, things may change as you work through the organizing process. Organizing increases clarity and enables you to see things that may previously have been hidden. Understand that this is all part of the organizing process. A good professional organizer and productivity consultant will be able to adapt to and implement changes in the project as time goes on.

Lisa Mark, C.P.O. is a productivity expert and Certified Professional Organizer. Contact Lisa if you would like to find out if she is a good fit for your organizing or productivity needs.

The Best Productivity Apps

Last month, we discussed How to Choose a Productivity App and how apps, like anything else, are only beneficial when they move us closer to our goals. Below are some of my favorites.

I’m an app minimalist. I limit apps and use only what I need to work effectively. For email, tasks, and calendar management, I like the G-suite apps. They are global (can be reached from anywhere), are easy to integrate, and the updates are (usually) seamless. I set up G-mail to integrate with Outlook so emails appear in both. I can better see the individual emails on Outlook, but I also enjoy the Google thread function for organizing and retrieval. Although I have multiple email addresses, all emails are set up to go into the same inbox. This means I only need to check one place to find everything.

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Top Time Wasters: Meetings

If you’re like most people, you’ve spent time in at least one meeting that went on and on with no apparent purpose, without an agenda, with minimal or no follow through, and without resolution. You might even have wondered why you were there at all. Certainly, there were far better uses of your time.

Meetings can be a huge time waster if not done correctly. Good meeting preparation is essential for productive meetings.

Effective meetings consist of the following:

A Tight Agenda: Ensure you have an agenda, with time limits attached to each agenda item.

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When Hiring a Pro is Best

If you’re like most busy professionals, your office has projects that need work: piles of papers, clutter on desk surfaces, perhaps even piles of items waiting for time where you can address them. This can be at odds with what most of us want: a clutter-free, calendar-clear, easily managed task list and space.

Below are ideas to help you decide whether you need to hire a professional to help get you from where you are to where you want to be.

  • Schedule: Most of us have way more to do than time to do it. It can be challenging to carve out time to work on your space when there are so many other obligations on the calendar. How can a large project be incorporated successfully into a very full schedule? Ask yourself how much time you can devote to organizing. Is it possible to designate a day each week, or two afternoons a week, to tackling these projects?  If not, perhaps it’s time to hire a pro.
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