From Bedlam to Brilliance – Sometimes You Can’t do this Alone, or Can you?
I had a very funny experience, not funny ha, ha, but funny in the sense that I went through exactly what some of my clients go through. I was at a Happy Hour with a friend of mine several weeks ago, and our conversation turned to genealogy. I’ve asked her a million times which is better, ancestry.com or 23andme. We go over the pros and cons of each, again for the millionth and one time, and all of a sudden, I decided to order the ancestry.com kit. What made me do this at that time? I realized that with my friend sitting there quietly, I was able to finally order the kit.
That is when I realized what my friend had done with me is what I do with my clients. Credit goes to Judith Kolberg who writes about social organizing and body doubling. Judith has been an organizer since the late 1980’s, was the founder of the Institute of Chronic Disorganization (which used to be called the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization) and has published many books about chronic disorganization.
As Judith explains it, social organizing means using other people, like a professional organizer, friend, or family member, in the organizing process. Body doubling means standing or sitting quietly near the person, working as a team, as he/she goes through a stack of items (for example – paper, clothes, books, etc.). That is exactly what my friend did – she sat there quietly while I did what I had to do to accomplish my goal of ordering the kit.
Now, I realize what I did was a one and done deal, but the same mindset applies. Why didn’t I do this on my own? I have no answer for this, but having gone through this little exercise made me even more aware of what my clients have said to me through the years. I’ve often heard “I would never go through this if you weren’t here” or “I’d never finish what I started if you weren’t here”.
Even though I am actively engaged in the organizing process with my clients, sometimes just being there and listening is enough to help them get through these overwhelming and daunting tasks. At one time I felt like I wasn’t doing much to help, but I realized that just my presence was enough to keep them inspired and motivated. I often say to my clients that I’d like to record the conversations they have with themselves as they come to the decisions on their own.
I applaud those of you who can de-clutter and organize on your own. But, if you can’t, there is help. We all need help in areas of our lives. I would love to help you if this is an area where you need someone by your side.
This is Your Time to Go From Bedlam to Brilliance!
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